Hearing scheduled for mother accused of faking baby’s abduction

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Police said a woman was arrested after she falsely called 911 and said that her child had been taken in her car from a man who is believe to be her husband. However, as it turns out the child was never really missing.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

MIAMISBURG — A pretrial hearing for the mother accused of falsely reporting her infant was abducted during a car theft has been scheduled for April 18 in Miamisburg Municipal Court. Jennifer Lynn Ritter, a 29-year-old Kettering resident, bonded out of jail on Wednesday after retaining an attorney.

  • An Amber Alert was issued for Ritter's 7-month-old son Nathan Dotson around 2:30 a.m. on March 7.
  • Ritter reported her son was in her vehicle when is was stolen from a Miami Twp. hotel.
  • The baby was found safe in a nearby Home Depot parking lot, hours after he was reported missing.

Ritter has been charged with inducing panic, falsification and endangering children, according to court records.

According to a recording of the 9-1-1 call, Ritter told emergency dispatchers she initially thought the baby’s father had moved the truck with the baby inside, but later didn’t know where the vehicle was.

Jennifer L. Ritter
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Jennifer L. Ritter

She waited an hour and half to call 9-1-1, according to a dispatch recording.

“My vehicle is missing from the hotel. Stuff out of my purse is missing from the hotel. My son was in my vehicle,” Jennifer Ritter said on the 9-1-1 call.

Ritter said she and the baby’s father had returned from dinner to the WoodSpring Suites hotel and been fighting, so she went inside to gather some things, leaving the boy in the vehicle for about five minutes. When she came out, she said she found her purse sitting on the sidewalk and assumed the boy’s father had moved the car to “mess with” her.

“I thought the father had moved the vehicle and he wouldn’t answer my phone calls,” she told a dispatcher, but he later called her back and said he didn’t have the vehicle or the child.

She then walked to a gas station where her father picked her up and she called 9-1-1 from his house, according to the story she told dispatch.

When asked why she waited so long to report the child missing, Ritter said she’d been arguing with the hotel manager about getting back in the room.

“Trust me I was trying to figure out everything,” Ritter said.

Jennifer Ritter called police around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday morning and reported her vehicle, with her child inside, had been stolen, said Sgt. Paul Nienhaus, of the Miami Twp. police department during a news conference.

A Home Depot employee, at the Springboro Pike location, found the child unharmed inside the vehicle in the parking lot.

“The child was recovered unharmed inside the vehicle, and has now been placed with the family,” Nienhaus said.

The investigation uncovered some “versions of the events” were different from what police thought, and resulted in the arrest of the child’s mother,said Sgt. Paul Nienhaus, of the Miami Twp. police department during a news conference the same day Ritter was arrested. “We’re still investigating motivations,” he said.

After Ritter’s child was found, Dave Hartzell, said the child’s abduction is their “worst nightmare,” but ended as good as it could have when Nathan was found safe.

Nathan Dotson was found safe after an Amber Alert. Photo contributed.
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Nathan Dotson was found safe after an Amber Alert. Photo contributed.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Amber Alert issued in Miami Twp.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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