LE CENTER — A Montgomery girl reported missing in February never really was missing, according to charges against her mother and grandparents.
Tiffany Marie Lukes, 35, reported Feb. 22 her daughter, Audrey Lukes, 16, had run away on Feb. 20. On March 7 Tiffany Lukes reported her daughter was still missing, according to the criminal complaint.
When Tiffany Lukes didn't respond to two subsequent calls, a Montgomery police officer went to the Lukeses' house and talked to Audrey's grandparents. Ronald Leonard Lukes, 60, and Linda Ann Lukes, 61, reportedly told the officer they hadn't seen their granddaughter in several weeks.
Ronald and Linda provided a photo of Audrey and Montgomery police posted it on the city's Facebook page with a plea for anyone who knew where she was to contact police.
The false report received significant media attention after the police chief in Kenyon wrote an open letter to Audrey sharing his story of being a teenage runaway and pleading with her to contact authorities.
After Tiffany Lukes provided Audrey's cellphone number, police talked to Audrey on March 23. She told the officer she was in Duluth and her mother and grandparents knew where she was, according to the complaint.
Audrey said she had come home a few times to retrieve clothes. Her grandparents gave her money and one time took her out for ice cream, Audrey reportedly said.
In recent interviews with police, the mother and grandparents allegedly admitted they knew where Audrey was staying.
Tiffany, Ronald and Linda Lukes were charged Friday with misdemeanor falsely reporting a crime.
Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the search, according to the complaint.
“This false information led to a great deal of law enforcement time being put into trying to find (Audrey),” the complaint states.