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Sheriff: Man faked kidnapping to go party with friends

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Rogelio Andaverde

Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 4:22 pm

When Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño learned a man had been taken Tuesday night from his rural home near Monte Alto, he said something didn’t smell right.

“I looked at the guys and said, ‘Do you really believe this?’” the sheriff said. “He’s just a regular Joe, no criminal history — anything. It’s just not right.”

But Rogelio Andaverde was missing. His wife, Maria Hernandez, told investigators she didn’t know why anyone would take him from their home, just west of Jesus Flores Road along Farm-to-Market Road 2812. So deputies launched “an all-out manhunt,” Treviño said.

A dozen deputies canvassed the area as a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter searched from the sky. Nothing.

After several hours, their leads went cold. The search was off.

“No ransom calls, nothing,” the sheriff said.

That all changed Thursday morning, when Andaverde, 34, showed up at home, unharmed. He told his wife he’d been released by his captors.

Deputies took Andaverde into custody so they could hear his story. Pressed for details about his apparent kidnapping, he said he made up the whole thing so he could get out of the house and go party with friends, according to a probable cause affidavit.

“Well, he’s going to party in jail now,” Treviño said. “It’s humorous in a way, but also it’s very serious.”

Andaverde was formally charged Thursday with one count of false report to a police officer, a class B misdemeanor — the same level as a first-offense driving while intoxicated charge. Bond was set at $5,000.

“Now you got to go home and explain it to your wife,” the sheriff said of Andaverde. “It’s probably going to cost him.”

Deputies now are looking for his friends — the bogus kidnappers — to see if they will be charged criminally, as well.

“It was all so dumb,” Treviño said.

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