South Dakota woman arrested for lying about sexual assault along I-75 in Hillsborough County, deputies say

Booking image for Renee Dawn Skoglund

Investigators in Hillsborough County and South Dakota said a woman who reported she was sexually battered along a Florida highway lied about it.

Wednesday, Hillsborough County deputies announced the arrest of 30-year-old Renee Dawn Skoglund. A possible motive was not provided in the agency's news release.

According to deputies, Skoglund contacted the sheriff's office on March 8 to report that an "unknown" person sexually battered her. She told the dispatcher it occurred along Interstate 75, north of College Avenue, in the Ruskin-Apollo Beach area.

Deputies said, during the 911 call, she reported being blindfolded and bound by a rope inside her rental car. She alleges stopping on the side of the highway after her "vehicle made a noise" when another vehicle pulled up behind her.

During the investigation, detectives said Skoglund planned to return home to Sioux Falls the next day. As they searched for a potential suspect, detectives learned the same rope was sold at Walmart.

Surveillance image showing Renee Dawn Skoglund purchasing rope at a Walmart, according to Hillsborough detectives.

Detectives said they went to several locations and identified Skoglund via surveillance video in one of the stores just eight hours before the reported attack. They said she was purchasing rope.

Then, they discovered additional surveillance video showing Skoglund visiting other places during the time of the alleged attack, "refuting her initial statements," detectives said.

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According to the sheriff's office, when she returned to South Dakota, she reported the alleged attack to the local police department and received medical services.

"But she was confronted with the facts of the investigation," the sheriff's office statement read in part. "She attempted to change her statements before eventually admitting to fabricating the entire incident."

Skoglund was arrested Friday by Sioux Falls police officers and is awaiting extradition back to Florida. She faces charges of misuse of a 911 system, false report of a crime, and fabricating physical evidence.

"This case is truly disheartening," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement." There are far too many victims faced with this type of trauma. This woman took advantage of our 911 emergency line and diverted attention from actual victims who need the viable resources available in these investigative scenarios."