“Code in” enacted Mar. 9 at Stony Point School
UPDATED Mar. 14, 4:45 p.m.
A Stony Point woman who falsely claimed she was tied up in her home faces a criminal charge after her actions resulted in many officers being diverted to look for the made-up suspect.
As a precautionary measure, Stony Point Elementary School operated on a “code in” for a short time on Thursday, March 9, following the 911 call. The “code-in” was enacted while the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office investigated the situation. Nothing occurred at the school, and all students and staff were safe. This was a precautionary measure only, according to a statement released by Dr. Jennifer Hefner, School Superintendent.
Sheriff Chris Bowman told The Times that his office received a call from a neighbor regarding a woman named Jessica Hamrick Bowlin, who had been supposedly tied up by an unknown man that morning in her North Thomas Lane home. Bowlin made her way out of her home and over to a neighbor’s home, where the neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office about 8:10 a.m.
Officers arrived at the Bowlin residence and found pieces of yellow nylon rope on the kitchen cabinet. As they interviewed Bowlin, she told officers that she was not hurt or assaulted. She said a door in her home was unlocked and she had been in the basement of her home. She came upstairs about 7:30 a.m. Thursday when she claimed a man with a deep voice tied her up, with her hands behind her back. He then left the home. She was unable to give any other description of the suspect, except that he was possibly a white male.
He noted that the code-in order at Stony Point Elementary was released about 9:52 a.m. on Thursday after it was determined there was no threat to the school.
No items were reported missing from the home, said Bowman. Upon further investigation, officers realized the rope from Bowlin’s hands appeared to be the same rope that was found just outside, in the home’s carport.
On Friday afternoon, March 10, Bowlin was asked to report to the Sheriff’s Office for further interview. The Sheriff said Bowlin admitted she had made up the entire story about being tied up, but gave no reason for doing so.
Sheriff Bowman indicated he will be calculating the cost to his department due to the false report. He estimated that eight officers were diverted to the Stony Point area. The NC State Highway Patrol assisted the Sheriff’s Office as well.
“It was all uncalled for,” Bowman stated. “People don’t realize how much time was put into that investigation. These officers could have been working on other cases.”
Jessica Bowlin, age 35, faces one misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report. She was released on bond awaiting a court date on April 24, 2017.