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Lawyer: Mom never said baby was in stolen car

Posted at 9:46 AM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 17:58:25-05

CINCINNATI -- The mother accused of sending police on a wild goose chase looking for her baby Thursday never actually told officers that the newborn was in her stolen car, her attorney claimed in court Friday, but a 911 call may prove otherwise.

Police said Nacole Benton, 28, told them her weeks-old baby was inside her car when it was stolen outside their West End home Thursday morning.

That set off an expensive search that used "a tremendous amount" of Cincinnati police resources and even drew assistance from federal agencies, Lt. Steve Saunders said.

However, Benton's lawyer, Ryan Mulroney, said the search may have been sparked by a miscommunication because she was so upset.

On a recording of the 911 call, it does sound as though Benton may have said the baby was in the car (listen to the clip in the video above).

Benton: Somebody just stole my car. I started my car up to put my kids in it, and they stole it.

Dispatcher: OK. Your kids aren’t in the car, right?

Benton: My baby is, and her car seat.

Dispatcher: Your baby is in the car?

Benton: Yes.

Saunders said Benton snuck out the back of the house while police were investigating. She took a taxi to a friend's house and brought the baby back, claiming the girl had been found safe.

The stolen car was recovered after it crashed into a tree on Prosperity Place near Western Hills High School around 8:20 a.m. Police charged two juveniles in connection to the theft.

Benton was charged with obstructing official business, making false alarm and inducing panic.