A story circulating on Facebook about a Rolla teenager who was placed in the trunk of a car that was set on fire is not true, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) investigators.
A MSHP crash report listed Stetson G. Spencer, 16, of Rolla, as being involved in a crash in Douglas County in southern Missouri on Thursday, Feb. 7, around 10:20 p.m.
The report stated that he was eastbound on State Route 76 west of County Road 211 and nine miles east of Ava when the vehicle he was driving traveled off the right side of the road, struck some debris and caught fire.
He was transported by Cox EMS to Cox South Hospital in Springfield for minor injuries, according to the patrol.
However, his mother, April Spencer, posted on her Facebook profile that there was more to the story.
In her post, she stated that Stetson did not come home after school and he did not reply to her text messages or phone calls. April Spencer wrote that she began searching for her son and eventually received a call from the highway patrol letting her know that her son had been in an accident and that he was being taken to a hospital.
April Spencer continued in her post, "Stetson was without a doubt a victim of a very serious crime. We want others to be aware of the dangers that good Samaritans face, even when close to home."
She went on to write that her son stopped to help a man along side the road with a flat tire and "without warning, a second man grabbed him from behind, and likely used a substance similar to chloroform which caused him to blackout. He remembered seeing sky ... and the next thing he remembered was smelling a strong acetone odor and he woke up in the trunk of his car. (he's used acetone at RTI, so he's familiar with the smell.) He managed to kick the seats in and escape the car that had been set on fire."
Sgt. Marty Elmore, public information and education officer with the MSHP Troop G, told The Rolla Daily News that after talking with a patrol officer who investigated the story, "He (investigation officer) tells me it has been determined that the story about an abduction on the part of the driver has been found to be false. He (the driver) has, I believe, admitted that it's not a true story."
Elmore said he could not make any more comments beyond that.
The story of an abduction drew a lot of social media attention and more than a dozen people contacted The Rolla Daily News about the story.
When April Spencer was contacted Feb. 11 by a reporter, she declined to comment.