Columbus Police: Mom made up story about 4-year-old in stolen car

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The mother who said her child was taken when someone stole her vehicle has been charged with falsification.

An Amber Alert was issued in central Ohio Monday as Jessica Pickett told police her 4-year-old daughter, Janylia Fails, was in a vehicle stolen from her home.

Authorities say the mother told police she had her car running in front of her home on North 4th Street and her daughter Janylia was sleeping in the backseat.

When she returned into her home to get her additional children, the car was stolen.

Officers responded to the area and were able to find the vehicle roughly a mile away but no child was inside.

Investigators were able to determine the child was never in the car. Janylia’s aunt told police she was with the girl Sunday night through Monday morning.

The alert was canceled around 10:15 a.m. when was found safe.

Pickett told investigators she told police her child was in the vehicle so it would be found faster.

Franklin County Children Services has taken Janylia and two siblings, ages 5 and 2, into protective custody.

Police said they have arrested and charged 22-year-old Bradley Stroud with grand theft auto.

Stroud appeared in court Tuesday morning and the judge set his bond at $50,000 bond for theft charges.