Arrests made in hostage hoax - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Arrests made in hostage hoax


Dunn County (WQOW) - A Dunn County community was on edge Wednesday for what turned out to be a hoax.

A woman texted her mother saying she was being held against her will by a man with a gun and knife.  Her mother called police who then started texting with the alleged victim.

Eventually, dozens of officers, including the Eau Claire County Tactical Team, were called in for a potential hostage situation.  They set up a command post at Peoples State Bank in Boyceville because they believed the home in question was somewhere in the area, but they could not pin down an exact location.  A deputy would later spot a woman in Wheeler who matched the description of the alleged victim.  The deputy talked to her and was able to determine she made up the story.

"We're not happy campers about it, but we can't control what people do and we just have to take it at face value and that somebody could be in danger... so we had to get on it right away and that's what we did.  As it turned out, it's nothing," said Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith.

Two women were arrested for obstruction.  The sheriff says Michelle Lien, a 27-year-old from Minnesota, was behind the hoax.  A friend of hers from Boyceville was also taken into custody.  The sheriff said she also lied to investigators.

There were about 30 officers on scene.  Sheriff Smith says they'll figure up the cost of the manpower and will ask for Lien to pay it back, if she's convicted. 

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