In a strange twist, a woman who we reported two weeks ago had reappeared after being missing for two weeks has been arrested on misdemeanor charges that she falsified her account of being abducted and held captive. The case of Rachael Mattice galvanized upstate New York when the 24-year-old Johnstown woman disappeared from her family campsite in June. State police chased down nearly 400 different leads in an extensive search effort they estimate cost “well into the six figures.” People sighed with relief when she came home July 6th with a terrible tale of abduction and abuse. However, it now looks like the whole episode was a ruse to distract attention from a drug investigation Mattice was caught up in at the nursing home where she worked.
Rachael Mattice dissapeared June 22nd after having dinner with her parents at their family home. She was staying at a family owned campsite in the Adirondack Mountains near the nursing home where she worked in rural Hamilton County, NY. A family friend reported her missing after finding her camper empty and her wallet and phone left behind. Two weeks later she reappeared at her parents house saying she had been knocked out and kidnapped and then held captive in a small shed where she was repeatedly assaulted by a large bearded man in his mid 50s. After meeting with police, a sketch of the alleged suspect was released but others in the department immediately started to see holes in her story.
It turns out in the weeks prior to her disappearance, Rachael Mattice was under investigation for possibly stealing prescription drugs from the Hamilton County Public Nursing Service where she worked as a home health care aide. Then on July 18th, a witness came forward saying during the time she was missing he gave Rachael a ride to a summer camp on scenic Canada Lake, NY that belonged to a family friend. Police also said a medical examination after coming home was inconsistent with her accounts of abuse. New York State Trooper William Keeler told a local news station “Nothing Mattice said happened. It’s all made up.” For her part, Mattice turned herself into authorities but maintains her story is real. She was released pending a court date on August 9th.