Mother arrested after claiming daughter was missing

WICHITA — More than 20 Wichita police officers, firefighters and volunteers spent a couple of hours Monday looking for an 11-year-old girl who had been reported missing from Allison Middle School — only to discover the girl had been at a neighbor's house all along.

A woman notified Allison officials at about 4:15 p.m. Monday that the girl had not made it home from school, USD 259 spokeswoman Susan Arensman said.

The girl rides a school bus, Arensman said, so school officials checked with the driver and learned she had not been on the bus that afternoon. Police were alerted, and the search began.

The student was eventually found at about 6:30 p.m. at a friend's house not far from her home, police said.

An investigation determined the girl's mother had picked the child up from school and taken her to the neighbor's house, police said, then reported her missing.

Police said the mother told another person to hide her child inside the house. The mother was arrested on suspicion of filing a false police report, and the child was placed in protective police custody.

A motive for the false report has not been established, police said.