BRANDON, Fla. -- Debora Marshall wasn't sure what she was witnessing. She came home from work to find sheriff's cruisers blocking streets in her sleepy Florida subdivision. Deputies with guns drawn and bulletproof vests surrounded her house.
"They had it blocked off at both ends. I thought a murderer was on the loose," she said.
So did the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities thought her son had killed her.
"My son was home and clueless," Marshall said. "I was at work, and all my neighbors thought I was dead."
In what appears to be the first incident of its kind in Hillsborough County, someone falsely and anonymously reported a murder and hostage situation that easily could have drawn a special weapons and tactics team and deadly consequences.