UPDATE: Jefferson City case is 'very unusual,' police say

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 5:52 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Law enforcement officials struggled to define the circumstances surrounding reports of a hostage situation in Jefferson City on Tuesday as they deemed the case "very unusual" to reporters.

Capt. Richard Smith of the Jefferson City Police Department said he was "not going to second guess" what led one woman to report a hostage in a building with state government offices until his department had concluded its investigation.

But officials, including Smith, said the word of that woman, an employee for the Missouri Public Services Commission, was all they were going by at this time.

"Right now, we have no reason to doubt what she has told us," Smith said.

The woman, officials say, claims to have heard an announcement over an elevator phone or intercom system that led her to believe a hostage was being held in the building.

Officials confirmed that earlier reports of a hostage situation and a gunshot were false and that the police department had found no evidence of either.

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