Boulder County officials say they're still looking for 21-year-old Lance Hering, who was back at Camp Pendleton, Calif., after being on leave from Iraq. They say they've arrested Hering's friend, 20-year-old Steve Powers, for investigation of allegedly making a false report.
Authorities say they became suspicious when they re-interviewed Powers about his Aug. 29 hiking trip with Hering. They say he eventually confessed that the disappearance was staged and that Hering was avoiding his return to duty.
Lt. Phil West of the Boulder Sheriff's Department says the developments have been reported to the Marine Corps and to Hering's parents.
Powers was arrested late Wednesday night, reports CBS station KCNC in Denver. West says Powers has been released.
Hering faces federal charges if he does not return to duty.
Sheriff Joe Pelle and Division Chief Dennis Hopper met with Hering's parents on Wednesday evening to inform them of the developments in the case. The Herings told authorities they remained very concerned for their son's welfare, KCNC reports.
Sheriff's officials led a search for Hering until Sunday when they called off the official effort. Former and current military service members with other volunteers then continued the search early this week.
The sheriff planned to seek restitution for the thousands of dollars expended in the search effort.