NEW YORK -- Police spent the morning searching for a stolen vehicle that allegedly had a child inside.
But investigators now say the child is safe and was never in the car.
The vehicle was stolen at 117th Street and First Avenue in East Harlem and later found at Gerard Avenue and East 153rd in the South Bronx.
Police say the child was with his mother in Pennsylvania the whole time.
The father admitted to officers his 1-year-old son was never in the car, but he maintains his vehicle was stolen.
The car in question, a gold Honda, was found parallel parked at 153rd Street and Gerard Avenue with no one inside.
Police said the father reported two armed suspects approached his car around 6:50 a.m. in East Harlem, threatened to shoot him and then took his car with his 1-year-old son inside.
Residents say they're just glad the child is OK.
"I'm relieved to hear that the child is safe, thank God," Bronx resident Ana Haywood said.
"I'm glad the baby's safe and in good hands," another person added.
Police are searching for surveillance video in Harlem and the Bronx to determine the validity of the father's story.
He's still being questioned by investigators, and it's too early to say if he will be charged with filing a false report.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
for more features.