BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. -- Last week, we told you the story of a young lady who said she fought off an intruder in her home in Bradford County. Now, investigators say that may not be what really happened.
This is what alleged burglar victim 19-year-old Ashleigh Elam told First Coast News last week:
"We came home, walked in, somebody was inside. He ran for the back door, I chased after him and tackled him, rolled around," she said.
She even showed us her battle wounds. "They stitched it up," talking about the wound on her leg. She told us during that struggle, the intruder's knife stabbed her in the leg.
Then, just over a week later, Thursday morning at 8:44 a.m., Bradford County Sheriff's Office investigators sent a news release. with a headline that read, "Teen Admits to Fabricating Story About Fighting Off Burglar."
Captain Brad Smith of Bradford County Sheriff's Office said, "The amount of blood at the crime scene was very minimal compared to what you would expect from a chest wound on the suspect and a leg wound on her."
Five different agencies responded to the alleged crime and helped in the search for the alleged masked intruder. An intruder who may have never existed. And a story cops say Elam made up.
So what really happened?
"We're not quite sure," Captain Smith said. "She told us a second story now of what happened, it was and accident her roommate was cutting something and the knife slipped through and that's when she got stabbed in the leg."
While they try to figure out if that is the real story, the five law enforcement agencies, along with the State Attorney's Office are discussing what if any charges Elam and her roommate Brandie Dube may face.
Elam did not answer her door when First Coast News knocked Thursday afternoon, but when we called her on the phone, she said she has been instructed not to talk about this. We asked who told her not to talk. She would not say.
There's also the issue of cost. Your taxpayer money paid for the search. The total cost has not yet been calculated, but it's in the thousands of dollars. It has not yet been decided if the two women have to pay the bill.
First Coast News