A 23-year-old Pennsylvania woman allegedly faked her own abduction earlier this week in a far-fetched effort to hide the fact that she dropped out of college and wasn’t about to graduate, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Chloe Stein, 23, was arrested Tuesday evening and has been charged with four misdemeanors: false alarm to a public safety agency, falsely reporting an offense that did not occur, obstructing administration of law, and disorderly conduct, court records show.

Stein was last heard from Monday evening at 10:30 p.m. when she texted her boyfriend while driving home from work saying she was being pulled over by a police officer, state police said in a Monday evening news conference.

Her boyfriend tried to contact her again numerous times, but to no avail, police said.

State police later heard from her family who said they found her vehicle, a Volkswagen Beetle, abandoned on Radebaugh Road in the area of North Greengate Road.

It was at that time the family made a missing person declaration and an expansive search for Stein was launched.

State Police Trooper Steve Limani said in a news conference Tuesday evening that the department spent “tens of thousands” of dollars in the search which included flying a helicopter in the area.

But the case unravelled when a tip came in Tuesday night that Stein was actually at a home in Jeannette, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Limani said. When officers arrived, they found her safe inside and she was taken in for questioning.

At the state police station, Stein told officers she was pulled over and abducted “by an unknown male who posed as a police officer,” the criminal complaint said. She said her abductor had a firearm, she was blindfolded and taken to various locations in the area, the complaint said.

But investigators were already suspicious of her account. Before they found her, they had received a call from Penn State University officials which said Stein was not a currently enrolled student, contrary to news reports that described her as a senior.

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“During the course of that phone call we found out that she had not been attending college for quite some time — almost at the point where it’s over a year, maybe two — and graduation was right around the corner,” Limani said.

“That really led us in the direction that at any point of time there was no police interaction, there was no pull over,” he said. “None of that happened.”

A representative from Penn State said Stein was last enrolled in the fall of 2018 at Penn State Fayette.

Police said they found inconsistencies with Stein’s account and evidence obtained in the investigation. When Stein was confronted about them, she “admitted that she had fabricated all of the information pertaining to the incident,” the criminal complaint said.

Limani said that she appeared to launch the hoax because she wasn’t actually attending college.

“The fact of not going to school apparently for so long and maybe disappointing people was the reasoning behind it,” he said.

He said that at no point was she in danger during the search and she “knew” the way she set up her last text message would “cause alarm.”

Limani condemned her actions, particularly for the fear it instilled in the community who thought there was an abductor at large.

He said police are investigating whether other people were involved in her alleged hoax and said the home she was found in belonged to an acquaintance.

NBC News has reached out to an attorney for Stein for comment.

Stein will appear before Magisterial District Judge Joseph R. DeMarchis in Westmoreland County on May 25 for a preliminary hearing.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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