Former councilwoman admits to faking kidnap

TOLEDO, Ohio – Lawrence Hancock first knew something was wrong when the day care center called and said his wife didn’t pick up their son.

He tried calling her phone. He looked for her car at the law office. Then he started to wonder if she just simply left, needing to get away from the stress of being six months pregnant and having a lawsuit hanging over her.

He hoped that she would come home until she called a day later saying she had been kidnapped.

But it turned out his first instinct was right.

Karyn McConnell Hancock, 35, a former city councilwoman, admitted that her tale of being kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to Georgia was fabricated, police said yesterday.

Her husband said she had “a meltdown.”

Investigators said they don’t think her husband or anyone else knew she made up the story until she told them during a family meeting Monday night that followed an eight-hour meeting with police.

Near the end of that meeting, she finally told the truth, said police detective Vince Mauro. “She said she was tired and wanted to get away,” he said.

Police didn’t offer an explanation about why they think she staged the kidnapping. Her husband said problems had been building for years.

“She experienced a meltdown and attempted to handle those matters without the assistance of professional help,” said Lawrence Hancock. “Karyn elected to leave everything because she felt that she was unable to continue.”

Hancock, an attorney whose father is a judge, was last seen Wednesday morning at her office. That evening she never came home and her husband filed a missing persons report.

On Thursday afternoon, she called him, saying “they have me” and that she thought she was going to die.

Her father, Toledo Municipal Court judge C. Allen McConnell, and her husband, bishop of Final Harvest Church, pleaded for her return on national television. Churches hosted prayer vigils.

At the same time, police were having doubts about whether she had been abducted. They looked through phone and financial records and found things didn’t add up, Mauro said. He wouldn’t elaborate.

The family thought the purported kidnapping had something to do with a case McConnell handled before he was a judge. The family said both the judge and his daughter had been receiving strange, threatening calls.

One of her former clients recently filed a lawsuit against her, accusing her of taking money he was owed from an accident settlement.

Maurice Morris, of Toledo, said Hancock negotiated a settlement but never gave him the $10,000 settlement.