BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The mother and grandmother of a missing 15-month-old girl are now in the same Tennessee jail after giving conflicting accounts about the toddler’s disappearance.
Frustrated by the women’s multiple versions of what happened to Evelyn Mae Boswell, authorities said that they charged the girl’s 18-year-old mother, Megan Boswell, with filing a false report because her inaccurate and conflicting statements have delayed and impeded the investigation.
Megan Boswell is in the Sullivan County Jail. Her mother, Angela Boswell, is being held there as well, on charges of theft and violating probation in an earlier case.
Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy also confirmed in a news conference Wednesday that authorities are searching an area in Wilkes County, North Carolina in connection with the case.
“We remain committed and continue to do everything possible to find out what happened to Evelyn,” Cassidy said. “Our main concern right now is finding Evelyn.”
An Amber Alert was issued for the girl after she was reported missing Feb. 18. That was least seven weeks after what’s believed to be the last time she was seen.
Court documents from Megan Boswell’s arraignment Wednesday accuse her of initially telling state investigators that Evelyn Mae was with the child’s father, Ethan Perry. But he’s serving with the U.S. Army at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and did not have the girl, WJHL-TV reported.
Megan Boswell later said her mother took her daughter to a campground in Mendota, Virginia. Authorities then searched multiple campgrounds in that area and found no sign of the girl, WJHL-TV reported.
Angela Boswell and her boyfriend, William McCloud, were arrested last week in North Carolina on fugitive warrants unrelated to the toddler’s disappearance. Before she was returned to Tennessee, Boswell told the judge she wanted to go home and resolve the situation with her granddaughter, news outlets reported.
Boswell was returned to the Sullivan County jail on Monday evening and arraigned Tuesday on a theft charge, news outlets reported. The judge set her bond at $5,000 in the case, but Sullivan County Sheriff’s Capt. Andy Seabolt said she will remain incarcerated because a bondsman revoked her bond in another, unrelated case.
Megan Boswell was jailed Tuesday night, and her bond was set at $25,000, the sheriff’s office said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, said there are so many unanswered questions that it decided to post a videoaddressing what they don’t know.
The TBI said McCloud and Boswell are “believed to have information” regarding the girl’s whereabouts. The agency also said that while the Amber Alert said Evelyn Mae was last seen Dec. 26, they can’t be sure of the date because of the mother and grandmother’s conflicting accounts.
The Bristol Herald Courier reported that the Amber Alert was issued after the sheriff’s office received a Tennessee Department of Children’s Services referral saying family members hadn’t seen the baby in about two months. The baby’s great-grandfather, David Jones, told the newspaper that he hadn’t seen the baby since about a week before Thanksgiving.