officers showed up at Nataleigh Schlette and Micah Risner’s home after getting calls from three people police say were ‘hysterical’, only to discover that the scene in the couple’s bathtub had been staged.
Police said Schlette and Risner, from Ohio, are charged with inducing panic. Both pleaded not guilty.
Police Sergeant Dawn Allen said that while it might have been funny to the couple, it was not a joke to police.
It is alleged that Risner was trying to get his Sister
to go to their house because she owned him money.
‘I kind of wiped ketchup everywhere a little bit and put ketchup in the water,’ he told Inside Edition. ‘And then she got in the water, and I started putting more ketchup to make it look a little more gruesome’
His sister agreed to go and pick him up via a text message conversation, but he didn’t tell her that he and Schlette were pulling a prank.
Schlette said: ‘I just thought that it’d be really cool and funny.’
Risner’s sister apparently told him to delete the messages and throw the evidence in a bin ‘far away’. She said that someone had contacted police and they were on their way after several ‘hysterical’ relatives dialled 911.
Police chief John Orzech said: ‘It looked very real. It looked like someone had been murdered or could have been self-inflicted.
‘You don’t know at the time, but if you look at the photo just getting it, it looks like a real crime scene incident.’
Writer: Richard Hartley-Parkinson for Metro.co.uk