Charges dropped against woman accused of falsely reporting kidnapping that caused Amber Alert
Court records show all charges have been dropped against a St. Paul woman who was initially accused of falsely reporting a car theft and kidnapping, which caused an Amber Alert to be issued.
According to the court system, 42-year-old Jessica Gallagher has been cleared of two charges — falsely reporting a crime and placing a fictitious emergency 911 call to prompt response.
The system says a warrant which was issued in September of 2021 was recalled on May 31, 2022, and charges were dismissed by prosecutors that same day. A pretrial meeting that had been scheduled for Aug. 4 has also been canceled.
A criminal complaint had stated Gallagher reported to 911 that someone had stolen her Honda Pilot while it was parked outside the Rusty Taco on the 400 block of Hennepin Avenue East in Minneapolis on Feb. 28 of 2021. Gallagher also claimed, “my baby’s in the car.”
When officers arrived, Gallagher told them she had gone inside to pick up her order while her 2-year-old child was asleep in the back seat. She said two males — one of whom she recognized as her ex-boyfriend, Erick Woods — had stolen her car while she was in the store.
Investigators talked to Gallagher’s mother, who said that Gallagher had personally dropped off her child between 7:45 and 8 p.m. that night before going on her deliveries and that she had never seen the ex-boyfriend. The child was found safely at her grandmother’s house.
After Gallagher positively identified the girl as her daughter, she told a police officer that she had gotten into an argument with Woods outside Rusty Taco, then left her car running while she went to get her order. She said when she came back out, the car and her child were gone.
According to the complaint, investigators made several attempts to follow up with Gallagher before she answered the phone. During the phone call, Gallagher said her ex-boyfriend had her apartment keys, so he met her at the Rusty Taco to return her keys, and he stole her car shortly after. She also said Woods had dropped off her child at the grandmother’s house.
When investigators mentioned that the grandmother told them Gallagher — not the ex-boyfriend — had dropped the child off, Gallagher admitted that she had lied when she said her child was in the vehicle. According to the complaint, she lied because she wanted her ex-boyfriend “caught and out of her life.”