Officials estimate that search efforts following a false tip surrounding the manhunt for a slain Fox Lake officer's killers Wednesday night cost at least $75,000.
Thirty-five deputies with the Lake County Sheriff's office and 85 federal, state and local law enforcement officers were called to the scene to search an area where a woman had reported an encounter with two suspicious men in Volo, Illinois, about five miles north of Fox Lake. Eleven canine units and three air support units were also brought to aid in the search.
The search lasted about five hours before investigators determined the woman "lied about the entire account of her events."
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Detective Christopher Covelli with the Lake County Sheriff's office said he estimated the search cost about $75,000, noting that that number was "conservative."
Around 9:20 p.m., a woman allegedly told police she was traveling northbound on Route 12 south of Route 120 in Volo when she pulled to the side of the roadway because of car trouble.
After pulling over, the woman said two men, one white and one black, came out of a cornfield near the road and asked her for a ride to Wisconsin but she refused, prosecutors said. The woman then said one of the men grabbed her door and tried to get in but the pair fled into the cornfield when she grabbed her phone.
Prosecutors said when police swabbed Kiefer's car she changed her story and said the man never grabbed her door, and after further questioning she admitted the story was a lie.
"She fabricated this story because she was looking for attention from a family that she nannies for," Detective Christopher Covelli with the Lake County Sheriff's office said.
Police also alleged the woman told them she chose that location because "she was aware of the death of a police officer in the area."
"It’s very disappointing that our resources could have been used somewhere else this afternoon and this evening and several hours were wasted here today," Covelli said.
Kristin B. Kiefer, 30, of the 0-100 block of Tanwood Court in Vernon Hills, was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct — falsifying a police report, a felony and a misdemeanor.
She was being held at the Lake County Jail and ordered held on $100,000 bond Thursday morning.