Judge denies lowered bond for woman charged in Scotland County baby hoax

LAURINBURG, N.C. (WTVD) -- The woman accused of making up a story about a missing infant last week went before a judge Monday.

Scotland County deputies arrested Danilla Bethea, 30, on Friday night after they said the entire missing newborn story was a hoax.

Bethea's bond is set at $100,000, but she asked the judge to reduce that. The request was denied.

Bethea is charged with 10 counts of felony obtaining property by false pretenses and one count of felony false reports pertaining to a missing child.

Last Thursday, Bethea reached out to deputies, saying a 3-week-old baby was missing and the mother, Bethea's daughter, was being held against her will.

Bethea claimed the baby was sold for money or drugs.

Deputies said they talked to her again and her story changed. At one point, she said the baby was safe.

Bethea claimed the mother's name was April Morrison and the infant's name Lee Ann.

Investigators later said neither of those people existed and the baby picture came from social media.

The FBI and other agencies helped in the investigation. Officials said the purpose of all of this was so Bethea could get money.

She's expected to be back in court Feb. 20.

If convicted on all charges, she could face up to three decades in jail.

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