New York police released a man suspected of stalking an 8-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother on Monday after the children admitted that they had made the story up, according to police.
Authorities released video footage of the man, who was not identified, after the siblings reported that he approached them several times over two days and left a menacing note in their mailbox.
The man turned himself in to the 69th precinct on Monday after seeing himself in the video, the New York Daily News reported. He denied that he was stalking the children and they recanted, according to police.
"The entire story was made up," an NYPD spokesman told Patch.com.
The siblings, who were not identified, told police that the 8-year-old girl spotted the man while walking on Friday to a bus stop in Crown Heights, WPIX reported. She claimed the man was hiding between cars and watching her, police said.
The boy said he was on a bus later that afternoon when it was flagged down by the same man, who said he was picking up the boy, WPIX reported. He was not authorized to pick up the child and fled when the matron on board threatened to call police, according to the siblings.
The children told police that they spotted the man taking photos of their home. The girl said he asked her where she sleeps and who lives with her, according to WPIX. She said she found a note in the family’s mailbox on Saturday that said, “Watch out. I am watching you!! Your daughter is cute.”
It was not immediately clear who wrote the note that the girl claimed to have found.