Man arrested after missing mountain lion report turned out to be a hoax

Billy J. Lunsford

COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? Officers have arrested fifty-five year old Billy J. Lunsford of North Augusta, SC for Providing False Information to a Public Safety Officer.

Lunsfordâ??s charges stem from his allegations that a three foot, 100 pound mountain lion had escaped from the Aquarium Pet Store on Richland Avenue West in Aiken. Lunsford advised officers that a black mountain lion was missing from Aquarium Pets.

Police had sent out a news release earlier in the day saying the black mountain lion weighted about 100 pounds and was wearing a dog harness when it was last seen at an Aiken pet store.

Investigators have determined that this statement was not true and that no mountain lion was ever inside the business.

Lunsford is currently being in the Aiken County Detention Center.