TIME World

12-Year-Old Fakes Own Kidnapping to Avoid Dentist

Boy Fakes Kidnapping to Avoid Dentist
A boy afraid of the dentist observes his friend's dentist appointment in 1970. Bill Peters—Denver Post via Getty Images

Odontophobia reaches a new level

When police found a 12-year-old boy in a French alpine village in May, he insisted he’d been kidnapped—only, he hadn’t.

For someone who wasn’t actually kidnapped, the boy described his abductor with imaginative detail: a 1.70 m. muscular European man in his mid 30s, clad in a black shirt and light jeans with a vertical scar on his right cheek had whisked him away, reports The Local. By chance, he managed to escape after his abductor had taken him to a town nearly 100 miles from his home.

For a month, police searched for the alleged kidnapper, but came up short. Their skepticism grew when they reviewed security footage from the boy’s hometown. Finally, they re-questioned him.

This time, he admitted something different: just kidding. In reality, he was too petrified to go to the dentist, so he staged his own kidnapping to get out of the appointment.

No word yet on what his parents have to say.

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