A suburban Chicago woman allegedly lied to police when she reported seeing two suspicious men in a far northern suburb, prompting a massive police response as authorities continue their search for three suspects in the fatal shooting of a Fox Lake police officer.
In a court appearance Thursday, prosecutors allege Kristin B. Kiefer called Fox Lake police saying she had a lead in the search for three armed suspects who fatally shot a veteran officer.
Around 9:20 p.m., Kiefer allegedly told police she was traveling northbound on Route 12 south of Route 120 in Volo, Illinois, about 5 miles north of Fox Lake, when she pulled to the side of the roadway because of car trouble.
After pulling over, Kiefer said two men, one white and one black, came out of a cornfield near the road and asked her for a ride to Wisconsin but she refused, prosecutors said. Kiefer then said one of the men grabbed her door and tried to get in but the pair fled into the cornfield when she grabbed her phone.
Dozens of armed officers, canine units and air support descended on the fielded area in Volo following Kiefer's report.
Lake County Sheriff's Deputies and about 85 federal, state and local law enforcement officers responded to the scene.
Officials searched for about five hours before investigators determined Kiefer "lied about the entire account of her events."
Prosecutors said when police swabbed Kiefer's car she changed her story and said the man never grabbed her door, and after further questioning she admitted the story was a lie.
"She fabricated this story because she was looking for attention from a family that she nannies for," Detective Christopher Covelli with the Lake County Sheriff's office said.
Police also alleged Kiefer told them she chose that location because "she was aware of the death of a police officer in the area."
"It’s very disappointing that our resources could have been used somewhere else this afternoon and this evening and several hours were wasted here today," Covelli said.
Kiefer has no prior criminal history but was accused in 2014 of falsely reporting information on a missing person, prosecutors said. She was never charged in that case, however.
Residents in the neighborhood where Kiefer lives said she had previously reported suspicious people and activity in the area.
"Now I’m wondering if those reports were true," said resident Paul Shaw, who is on the homeowner's board. "It just brings a lot of questions. How you could justify doing this I don’t understand. How a person, with all of the turmoil that’s going on in Fox Lake, could justify doing this to the police, to everybody."
Kiefer, 30, of the 0-100 block of Tanwood Court in Vernon Hills, was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct — falsifying a police report, a felony and a misdemeanor.
She was being held at the Lake County Jail and ordered held on $100,000 bond Thursday morning.