FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Obscene graffiti on an intersection in the quiet coastal community of Fernandina Beach was reported to First Coast News by a concerned neighbor as an incidence of bullying. But new questions are being raised about the validity of that report.
Sharon Randa told First Coast News in Septemberthat she canvassed the neighborhood until she found the apparent victim.
"We found her -- she's a sweet, sweet little girl and her parents took her out of public school and are now home schooling her because she's having nightmares and thoughts of suicide," Randa said at the time.
School officials contacted First Coast News after the story aired, expressing concern for the girl's well being. After researching school records, they said, they didn't believe the alleged victim was a student in the district.
And now, in a report that the Nassau County Sheriff's Office provided to FCN late Wednesday afternoon, law enforcement appears to agree.
In the report, Deputy Thomas Kelly explains how he went from home to home in the neighborhood, unable to find that girl or any who fit that description.
In his conversation with Randa, Deputy Kelly said she told him that "there was a mistake made in identifying the house."
According to the officer's narrative, Randa told police, she "was very sorry 'wasting our time"' but wanted us to know that she did not make this story up."
FCN spoke to Randa as well, and she said that while she did not intend to mislead anyone, her original version of events was not accurate.
In fact, she told us that police threatened to file charges against her for providing false information. Deputy Kelly would not comment on that or the case. Nassau County School District officials declined to comment further for this story.