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Charges: February Amber Alert sparked by Minnesota woman's lie about ex-boyfriend

The child was safe with a grandmother the entire time, charges state.
Amber Alert

A February Amber Alert in Minnesota was sparked by a mother who lied about her child being abducted, according to criminal charges filed in Hennepin County District Court. 

Jessica Gallagher, 40, of St. Paul, was at Rusty Taco in Northeast Minneapolis when she called police at 8:42 p.m. on Feb. 28 to report that her vehicle had been stolen while her child was still in the car.

A criminal complaint states that Gallagher said two unknown males stole her Honda Pilot with her 2-year-old child inside. She said it happened when she went inside the restaurant to pick up her order. 

She then identified one of the men she accused of stealing the car and her child as her ex-boyfriend. That was a lie, according to the complaint, which explains that Gallagher had dropped her child off with her mother between 7:45 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Gallagher then told police that she and her ex-boyfriend got into an argument outside Rusty Taco, again claiming that her ex-boyfriend took the vehicle and child while she was inside retrieving her order. Gallagher also said her ex-boyfriend dropped her child off at her mother's house in St. Paul. 

It wasn't until investigators informed Gallagher that her mother had confirmed the child was at her house the entire time that Gallagher admitted to the lie, the complaint says. She did it in an attempt to get her ex-boyfriend "out of her life," the charges note. 

Gallagher has been charged with a gross misdemeanor for placing a fictitious 911 call, and a misdemeanor for falsely reporting a crime. 

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