A man was arrested after falsely telling police that his car — with two children inside — was stolen Wednesday morning, according to Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook.
Darrell Kendell Shealy, 55, told police early Wednesday that the two children were asleep in a car that was stolen from a Columbia hotel, according to police.
“After being interviewed by investigators, Shealy admitted to being intoxicated at the time that he reported the incident,” police said in a statement. “The exact motive continues to be determined.”
The car was reported stolen around 9:15 a.m. from the 100 block of Stoneridge Drive, which is just off Greystone Boulevard near Interstate 126, police said.
The Columbia Police Department said on Twitter just after 2:30 p.m. that the boys — ages 3 and 7 — had been found safe.
During the course of the investigation, Shealy walked police through a series of locations he claimed to have visited with the children before the car was allegedly stolen, Holbrook said. Police soon realized he had filed a false report.
One child was found at a babysitter’s and the other was at school, police said.
Police charged Shealy with filing a false police report.
“We have dedicated a lot of resources and man hours, an aircraft and technology. We pulled resources from other assignments,” Holbrook said. “It’s just been a very frustrating day to have this. We are glad that the children are safe of course, but this is something that’s unacceptable and we will hold Mr. Shealy accountable for his actions.”