HARDIN, Texas On most days, the Liberty County town of Hardin barely registers 1,000 people.
But Tuesday was not most days.
Everyone from sheriff s deputies, to the FBI, to the DPS, to the media converged on the town looking for signs of a mass grave.
The information came from a tipster, who claimed to be psychic, but the whole thing turned out to be a hoax.
Locals like Dee Mason on Wednesday were wondering how something like that could happen. What could lead scores of law enforcement officials and an armada of media to a home near a seemingly obscure intersection in the rural county?
And you re thinking, this is our community what is happening, Mason recalled.
Officials at the Liberty County Sheriff s Office maintain it was all by the book a justifiable response to a pair of phone calls from a woman who claimed there was a mass grave containing the bodies of children on a property there.
The first call came in late Monday night. The second came in Tuesday morning.
We were only out there to execute a warrant on a possible crime scene an alleged crime scene, Cap. Rex Evans of the Liberty County Sheriff s Office said.
But deputies at the scene detected blood and noticed an odd smell coming from the home. They eventually requested help from the FBI.
If your child was missing, you would certainly want your law enforcement agency to investigate it, Evans said.
But as it turns out, there were no bodies and no evidence of a crime. Just a crush of media.
And I believe that played a major factor in the wrongful dissemination of just bad information, Evans said.
Now, authorities have turned their attention to the person who made the call in the first place. The woman could face criminal charges.
She made that statement [that she was a psychic] later on in an additional phone call. However, that has not been confirmed yet, whether she s a psychic or not, Evans said.
If they weren t psychic, I think that they should be punished, Mason said.