Nancy Salas, Former UCLA Student, Charged for Faking Her Own Abduction

Nancy Salas (Personal Photo)

MERCED, Calif. (CBS/AP) Nancy Salas admits she faked her own abduction to avoid facing her parents with the truth -- that she dropped out of college. 

But now, she's facing criminal charges for the story she told.

PICTURES: Nancy Salas

Prosecutors for the Merced County district attorney's office Friday charged the 22-year-old Salas, a former student at UCLA, with one misdemeanor count of giving a false report of a crime to a police officer.

Salas, who was idolized by family and friends, vanished from her Glendale home on May 12 after she told her family members she was going for a run and never returned.

Her disappearance triggered a massive search effort led by police, family, friends and numerous volunteers; however, their efforts were in vain.

It turned out the young woman had made up the whole thing, fearful because she had told her family she was about to graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles when in fact she had not been enrolled since 2008.

Two days into the search, authorities say Salas placed a call to the police to report that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.  Eventually, she was recovered safely 300 miles away in Merced.

"It's a tragic story," Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. "She didn't know how to handle it and she fled."

Salas' brother, Henry, said Friday he did not know if she has retained an attorney.

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PICTURES: Nancy Salas

May 14, 2010 - Former UCLA Student Nancy Salas Found: "I Want to Ask Your Forgiveness for Being Dishonest"