Mount Airy police are investigating a case in which a woman allegedly provided the name of her sister to officers in an apparent attempt to avoid arrest.
The incident occurred last Wednesday, when police responded to a suspicious-vehicle call on East Bluemont Road just off U.S. 52 involving a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer licensed in Virginia.
When they attempted to identify a female in the SUV, she allegedly initially gave her name as “Jessica Anne Lynch” and a date of birth indicating she was 40 years old, according to police records from that incident.
After a brief investigation, it was discovered that the woman’s identity was instead Jessica Renee Williams, age 29, of 154 Dusty Lane, based on the initial report, which also listed Williams’ age as 33. But that information proved not to be accurate, either.
“She gave two fake names,” Police Chief Dale Watson explained.
As it turns out, the woman in the Blazer was actually Jennifer Ann Lunsford, 40, who is last known as having a Pilot Mountain address. Jessica Renee Williams is her sister, the police chief said.
“I think she is wanted in Virginia on a probation violation,” the police chief said Tuesday of Lunsford, a status that would have subjected her to arrest when encountered by city police last week.
In falsely supplying the name of her sister, Lunsford avoided that — while a violation of resisting, obstructing or delaying a public officer wrongly went on the books against Williams. The woman found at the scene who was believed to be Williams was cited for the violation and released to appear in Surry District Court on Dec. 4.
Watson indicated that Lunsford was able to supply enough factual personal information about her sister, such as her birth date, to make officers believe she was Williams, enabling Lunsford to leave the scene.
Meanwhile, Williams was unaware of what happened until a friend of her husband’s read about the violation in The Mount Airy News, and is understandably concerned about being implicated falsely.
“She is gainfully employed,” Watson said of Williams.
Police are seeking the whereabouts of Lunsford, who is facing the offense of resisting, obstructing or delaying a public officer due to providing the erroneous information.
That violation is a misdemeanor, with Watson saying the nature of the alleged wrongdoing does not subject Lunsford to the more serious charge of identity theft, a felony. It typically relates to someone using identifying information of another person in order to make fraudulent financial transactions.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.