She’s One of the Most Hated Women in Indiana
Some people will do anything for attention
On July 24th, 2020, Hannah Potts, a 23-year-old Indiana woman posted a Facebook live video claiming that she had been kidnapped by a black man in a maroon vehicle.
In the video, Potts claimed that she was outside taking pictures of animals when a man suddenly emerged out of nowhere, abducting her and putting her into the trunk of his car. She said the man called her ‘baby girl’ and described being held in a room with four walls and a little light. She then begged the viewers to show the video to the authorities so they could find her.
Hannah’s sisters Lauren and Peyton posted the following heartbroken pleas on Facebook:
This flyer was distributed:
The next day, on July 25th, the FBI joined the investigation to find Hannah. A Facebook page was also opened to create awareness and for members of the public to offer tips and new insights on the case; 4,500 people joined the page and wrote their pleas for Hannah to be returned home safely. 4,500 people were looking for Hannah.
On July 26th, two days after she was reported missing, Hannah was found safe in the basement of her friends’ house. She had shackles around her legs handcuffs on her wrists. Hannah told the police that the kidnapping was a hoax, all for a fantasy fiction she was writing at the time.
Hannah’s friends’ Maria Hopper, 34, and Joshua Thomas, 45, housed Hannah in their basement to help aid the kidnapping hoax. During the investigation, police found messages between Hannah and Maria planning the hoax a week before the event. In the messages, Maria and Hannah discussed destroying their SIM cards and phones.
Once the truth came out, Hannah’s family reacted in a mix of rage and humiliation, understandably so. They posted the following statements:
According to The Courier Press, a few days later, Hannah, Maria, and Joshua would all be charged with ‘one count of false informing in connection with the hoax abduction of Potts.’
Hannah told the police Maria and Joshua were just characters in her story.
*UPDATED OCTOBER 18, 2020*
The trial for the charges against Maria, Joshua and Hannah began on October 8, 2020. Maria pled guilty to false informing and was sentenced to community service. The sentencing for Joshua and Hannah are still pending. Another update will be added once Hannah’s sentence is decided.
Hannah has stated she will write a short story about her experience.
Hannah caused thousands of people to worry about her, to pray for her. She put her own family through utter hell; making them believe they would never see her again. The FBI wasted valuable hours searching for her when they could have spent that time rescuing someone in real danger. Who knows how many dollars were wasted on this hoax, all for Hannah’s greedy need for attention.
To me, the most disgusting part of this case is that Hannah pinned the hoax kidnapping on a black man. It is incredibly sad that in Hannah’s mind she thought her hoax would be more believable if she claimed the suspect was a man of colour.
Hannah got the attention she craved for so badly; she will forever be known as the young woman who faked her own kidnapping and pinned it on a black man.
In the end, Hannah did get her story, but it was not the one she set out for.
Thank you for reading. Here are some more true-crime stories you may be interested in: