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‘Frankly, I Don’t Know': Detroit Police Chief Can’t Say If Russian Abduction Was A Hoax

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Police searched for 10 hours on Tuesday, canvassing some 35 abandon buildings — including the old Packard Plant — over 20 city blocks in Detroit’s east side, and found nothing.

Authorities have called off the search for a man who called 911, claiming to be a Russian national, who had been kidnapped and stabbed.

Was it a hoax?

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Jon Hewett couldn’t get a definitive answer out of Detroit Police Chief James Craig during at a news conference Thursday.

“I can’t make that determination as of yet,” Craig said. “I’m not going to give you a final call on it because, frankly, I don’t know. Is that a possibility? Of course.”

The man apparently told police that he was trapped in a warehouse, somewhere near the Detroit River.

Earlier, Detroit Police Commander Alvin Barren told WWJ that there was not enough evidence pointing to this call being a hoax and the search continued. Barren added that if this was a prank, “if that’s the case, they went out of their way.”

Police said the man spoke Russian, so they brought in an interpreter to help them communicate with the man, who called back periodically.

Officers had been searching abandoned buildings, and overgrown lots and fields.

Local, state, and federal authorities assisted in the daylong search but didn’t find any clues.

Craig said Wednesday that although the active search is over, the investigation into the phone number — that was, in fact, linked to Russia  — and the name provided by the alleged victim is ongoing with federal help.

RELATED: Feds Called In To Assist In Search For Possible Kidnap Victim

Police Search Detroit For Man Apparently Kidnapped, Trapped In Building

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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