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Christmas Hoax Means Criminal Charges for Miami-Dade Woman

A Fort Lauderdale woman is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge of filing a false police report on Christmas Day, according to Fort Lauderdale-Dade police, who did not indicate if she is represented by a criminal defense lawyer. Meagan McCormic, who is 22, was arrested today after detectives unraveled her tale about her missing son. McCormic called Fort Lauderdale police yesterday to report that her small child had disappeared.

According to Fort Lauderdale-Dade police, McCormic became pregnant approximately a year ago. She subsequently had a miscarriage, but she did not inform her long-distance boyfriend John Buchness, who resides in Boston. McCormic hoped that his belief that he had a son with her would keep him involved in her life. Otherwise, she thought, he would leave her. Instead of disclosing the details of the miscarriage, McCormic continued the lie, even telling Buchness that she had given birth to their son. She named the child Riley Buchness.

McCormic panicked when Buchness was to visit over Christmas and, rather than come clean to her boyfriend, she decided that making Riley disappear would be a better course of action.

McCormic apparently went to great lengths to fabricate the story before confessing to police who pressed her on inconsistencies in information she provided. She purchased baby clothes and provided officers with images of a baby she found online. She reported that she had left the boy with Camile, a French nanny. When Buchness arrived for the holiday, McCormic explained that Riley was with the nanny, who had provided child care for months. Later on, Camile failed to arrive as expected, and Buchness and McCormic eventually reported the child missing when they could not find her or Riley. Police issued a missing child Amber Alert using one of the photos McCormic lifted from the internet. Fort Lauderdale investigators described Camile as having a thick French accent and driving a red car.

Police, worn out from searching for a nonexistent child, were at the end of their rope. Many worked overtime and did not spend time with their own families in order to search for Riley. “Either she was upset because she was so emotionally invested in her story, or because the weight of what she had done finally hit her, or maybe she’s just one hell of an actress,” a police official said.

Buchness was emotional throughout the ordeal, Fort Lauderdale police said. He had believed that his son had disappeared; he was in tears after learning of the entire hoax.

Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer William Moore has experience in a wide range of criminal defense situations and a great trial record. An arrest can damage all aspects of your life, including your employment prospects and custody and visitation of your children. If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., which is an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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