DAVENPORT (FOX 13) - An 11-year-old girl -- who said a man in a white car tried to get her into his car using a story about her mother being in the hospital -- has retracted her story, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
The girl's story was distributed Tuesday evening after the girl reported an incident to her mother, who called law enforcement.
She told detectives a man in white sedan drove up next to her while she walked home from her bus stop. She said the man said her mother was in the hospital and sent him to take her there.
Sheriff Grady Judd said Thursday, the girl said she made the story up to avoid having to walk home from the bus stop. The girl faces a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report.
Afterward, the girl wrote a letter to the sheriff's office. It says, in part:
"I'm sorry the story that I told wasn't true. I don't normally walk home, and on Tuesday, I was walking and I was scared. I never meant to hurt anyone or for this to get this big. I just want forgiveness - I'm truly sorry for making that false report.
P.S. I just want to say thank you because now I know that you'll be there for me if something does happen."
Meanwhile, the sheriff said he is glad there is not a potential predator on the loose.
"While we are disappointed that this child lied to us, we are very happy that there isn't someone riding around in Davenport trying to lure kids into his car. At the very least, we are dealing with a child who lied to us and wasted our resources, but the good news is, we didn't have an actual kidnapping or worse," Judd offered.
The girl's parents said in a statement, they "love and support" their daughter and would continue to help her through the incident, "as she learns this valuable lesson."
They added they would continue to cooperate with the sheriff's investigation.