SB Police Chief: Search for Sahray Barber Cost Tens of Thousands of Dollars

The search for a missing college student in San Bernardino was costly and based on false information given to investigators, the city's police chief said in a video posted online Thursday.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said he believed the department would seek to file charges for false statements that led them to believe Art Institute of California student Sahray Barber was the victim of a violent crime.

"We spent a great deal of resources on the case, and quite frankly we had to based on the information that we had," Burguan said in the video.

He estimated the overtime cost at lest $24,000 and that on-duty officers, helicopter and other search-and-rescue costs meant the department spent much more. He didn't have an exact estimate.

While police searched for Barber, she had checked herself into a Los Angeles hospital, where she didn't give her correct name, Burguan said. Barber saw herself on TV but didn't reveal she was the girl being sought.

It was only after she was discharged to a shelter, where workers questioned Barber about her identity, that her family and police were alerted to her presence, according to Burguan.

"I am happy to report that she is home and that she's safe with her family," Burguan said.

Investigators had scoured the apartment and inquired with her roommates, who were eventually given polygraph tests which determined they may have made deceptive statements, according to Burguan. The investigation was given added urgency because of a rash of attempted violent crimes on Cal State, San Bernardino campus, across from which was Barber's apartment.

Burguan did not name who was likely to be charged with making false statements. He said there was "a lot of angst and a lot of anger over the resources that were expended."

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