SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Airman Keith Keiffer claimed to be a victim of a serious attack out of Sacramento, but now police are saying his story isn't true.
His wife Shanika also told CBS13, her husband admitted he made the whole thing up. The investigation spanned more than 60 miles from Sacramento to Pine Grove.
Jackson Police Chief, Christopher Mynderup said it started with a Facebook post. "We created a bulletin asking for the public's help," he said. Police asked for help identifying a man who was found with a serious head injury.
"He didn't' know his name, he didn't know where he was or how he obtained an injury he claimed to have had to his head," said Mynderup.
Police later identify him as Keith Keiffer, 32, a U.S. Air Force Staff Sargent who was last stationed at Travis Air Force Base. Officials with Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota say he was on "permanent change of station" headed to their base.
"He told my officers he was a victim of a kidnapping," said Chief Mynderup. "That he was held in a warehouse for several days."
Keiffer told Police he was a victim of a serious crime took place in Sacramento, that's when Sacramento Police got involved. "From what I understand there was no evidence from Sacramento Police this crime occurred," said Chief Mynderup.
After a lengthy investigation from both departments, Sacramento and Jackson Police Departments say Keiffer's story doesn't add up.
"He was reaching out for help, and he felt like he didn't have it," said Mynderup.
Keiffer's wife, Shanika Keiffer, claims her husband admitted he made up the whole story to get out of active duty.
"That was the only solution he could come up with, by making it seem like he was attacked," said Shanika.
She even says he hit himself in the head with a rock to fake the attack.
CBS13 spoke with Keith Keiffer on the phone Wednesday afternoon. He denies telling his wife he lied, instead, saying he has little memory of the situation. He couldn't speak further on the record after getting direction from Minot Air Force Base.
Meanwhile, the Jackson Police chief says this investigation took up dozens of hours of manpower.
"We are a very small agency in the foothills, it's a huge drain," Chief Mynderup said.
The Police Department is not pressing charges. "It would just be another huge drain on our resources," he said.
Both Sacramento Police and Jackson Police Departments say they can't prove Keiffer filed a false claim, and at this point, Keiffer still has a job. As of Wednesday evening, he was on his way back to the air force base in Minot, listed as "on leave."
The air force base there released a statement to us about their investigation, and couldn't speak about what Keiffer said happened. The statement says Sacramento Police are handling the investigation. But, Sacramento Police say their case is closed.
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