BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The mother and grandmother of a 15-month-old girl who disappeared in Tennessee are both in jail after giving conflicting accounts of the toddler’s disappearance.
Frustrated by the women’s multiple versions of what happened to Evelyn Mae Boswell, authorities said they charged the girl’s 18-year-old mother, Megan Boswell, with filing a false report. They said her inaccurate and conflicting statements had delayed and impeded the investigation.
Megan Boswell was being held in the Sullivan County Jail. Her mother, Angela Boswell, was being held there as well, on charges of theft and violating probation in an earlier case.
An Amber Alert was issued for Evelyn Mae after she was reported missing Feb. 18 — at least seven weeks after authorities think she really disappeared.
Authorities were searching for the toddler in Wilkes County, North Carolina, Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said at a news conference Wednesday.
“We remain committed and continue to do everything possible to find out what happened to Evelyn,” Cassidy said.
The search was conducted in a pond using a remote-operated vehicle device and was inconclusive, according to a statement from the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.
Court documents from Megan Boswell’s arraignment Wednesday accuse her of initially telling state investigators that Evelyn Mae was with the child’s father, Ethan Perry. But Perry is stationed with the U.S. Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and did not have the girl, WJHL-TV reported.
Megan Boswell later said her mother took her daughter to a campground in Mendota, Virginia. Authorities searched multiple campgrounds in that area and found no sign of the girl, the TV station said.
Angela Boswell and her boyfriend, William McCloud, were arrested last week in North Carolina on fugitive warrants unrelated to the toddler’s disappearance. Before she was returned to Tennessee, Boswell told the judge she wanted to go home and resolve the situation with her granddaughter, news outlets reported.
Angela Boswell was returned to the Sullivan County jail on Monday evening and arraigned Tuesday on a theft charge, news outlets reported. The judge set her bond at $5,000 in the case, but Sullivan County Sheriff’s Capt. Andy Seabolt said she would remain jailed because a bondsman revoked her bond in an unrelated case.
Megan Boswell was jailed Tuesday night, and her bond was set at $25,000, the sheriff’s office said.
McCloud was extradited back to Tennessee on Wednesday, the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, said there are so many unanswered questions that it decided to post a video addressing what they don’t know.
The bureau said investigators believe both McCloud and Boswell have information about the toddler’s location. The agency also said that while the Amber Alert said Evelyn Mae was last seen Dec. 26, they can’t be sure of the date because of the mother and grandmother’s conflicting accounts.
The Bristol Herald Courier reported that the Amber Alert was issued after the sheriff’s office received information from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, which told them family members hadn’t seen the baby in about two months.
The baby’s great-grandfather, David Jones, told the newspaper that he hadn’t seen the baby since about a week before Thanksgiving.