Farmington residents relieved AMBER Alert was a hoax

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Farmington, IL (KWQC) - Farmington is home to a couple thousand people. Residents told TV-6 that when the AMBER Alert popped up on their phones, Saturday, they were shocked.

"You don't expect, I guess, anything like that to happen," said resident Pam Davis. "At the time we all thought that it was real, so it was like a huge deal. And, you know, at that time we didn't know if it was somebody from here-- somebody's child that we knew from here-- or what was going on exactly."

Gary Davis has lived in Farmington his whole life and says the alert was the first he recalls ever being related to the community. He says he's just "glad that no child is missing and everything turned out alright."

The Fulton County, Ill. Emergency Services and Disaster Agency said Sunday morning the AMBER Alert hoax was the result of a botched drug deal.

According to the agency, Mitchell Dutz, called police to report his car was stolen with an infant in the back seat. During the interview process, law enforcement determined that Dutz "fabricated the entire story" after he was allegedly robbed during a drug deal.

Law enforcement said Dutz called 911 around 5:00 Saturday evening told police James T. Jackson, and two other men, robbed him and took the car with the infant in the backseat while he paid for gas at a Farmington Circle K gas station.

"[Dutz] used the infant as a way to pursue charges against the alleged person who robbed him," a press release said.

In a Facebook live, the suspect said he was not guilty and did not take the child. The Fulton County, Ill. Emergency Services and Disaster Agency back up Jackson's claim saying Jackson "was not involved in any way."

According to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Justice on issuing an AMBER Alert, law enforcement must "confirm an abduction prior to issuing an alert." TV6 has asked the Farmington Police and Fulton County for information on whether or not a confirmation was made before an AMBER Alert was issued. We have been told our request will be answered sometime Sunday.

AMBER Alert guidelines also recommend a child be at "risk serious bodily injury of death.

In a press release, the Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency said at no time was the infant ever in danger, but it remains unclear if the child's well-being was known at the time of the AMBER Alert being issued.

Dutz is facing several charges, including Residential Burglary, False Police Report, False Representation of Police Statement, False 911 Call and various other charges are pending.

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