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A North Carolina woman was arrested Monday after allegedly faking her own murder, police said.
Margaret Frances Elizabeth Sweeney, who also goes by Maggie, 37, allegedly “made anonymous third-party false reports” to both a friend and the Department of Social Services last Friday, claiming she had been murdered, the Franklin Police Department said in a Facebook post.
According to the arrest warrant obtained by NBC News, Sweeney used an app to conceal her identity and send text messages to the friend and DSS agent claiming she had been beaten to death with a tire iron.
Officers found Sweeney on Saturday in a nearby town, and arrested her two days later, according to the Facebook post, which condemned her alleged actions for distracting police from other duties.
“Sweeney’s actions caused our department, as well as other departments, many hours of work which could have been spent on other matters,” the police department said.
The arrest warrant says police spent a total of 75 hours searching for Sweeney and investigating the case.
Sweeney was arrested on charges of causing a false report to a police station, falsely reporting death or serious injury by telephonic communication and obstructing law enforcement officers, police said.
Sweeney was released from custody on a written promise to appear in court on September 7, according to Chief Devin Holland of the Franklin Police Department, who added that she did not have a lawyer at the time of her arrest.
Holland added that Sweeney was found at a local park and said that “she does not have a consistent place of residence.”
She was not immediately able to be reached on Wednesday morning.
It was not immediately clear how much jail time she could face if convicted, whether she has any prior convictions or whether she currently has a lawyer representing her.
Franklin is a town about 180 miles west of Charlotte.
The incident comes a month after 25-year-old Carlee Russell, an Alabama nursing student, was charged with two misdemeanors— false reporting to law enforcement authorities and falsely reporting an incident — after she admitted to lying about being kidnapped.
The Hoover Police Chief previously said the charges carried a bond of $1,000 each and that Russell could face up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine if convicted.
This article was obtained via NBC News.