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'Mom Influencer' Katie Sorenson Investigated For Possible Hate Crime After Claiming A Latino Couple Tried To Kidnap Her Kids

Photo: YouTube
Katie Sorenson

Something isn’t adding up here.

Katie Sorenson, a wannabe mom influencer, has been embattled in an ongoing police investigation ever since she took to Instagram and posted a video claiming that her kids, ages 4 and 1, were the victims of an alleged kidnapping attempt by an older Latino couple in the parking lot of a Michaels craft store. 

The video, which garnered over 4 million views before it was deleted along with her @motherhoodessentials Instagram account, shows Sorenson talking about the alleged incident that left her and her kids shaken up. 

After the video was posted to her Instagram account under the #savethechildren hashtag, her followers reportedly increased from 6K to 80K in a few days.

"I saw these people, they didn't look necessarily clean-cut," Sorensen told a local news outlet. "I felt uncomfortable around them, and instead of making them uncomfortable with my discomfort, I chose to remain in my discomfort."

While the couple in question fully cooperated with the investigation and has already been cleared by the Petaluma, Calif. Police Dept., Sorenson is still being investigated over knowingly making a false police report. 

Who is Katie Sorenson, and what are the details of her kidnapping claims?

Here’s everything you need to know about Katie Sorenson and the wild claims she made about her kids being the victims of an alleged kidnapping, and what the accused couple has said about the investigation. 

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Katie Sorenson took to Instagram to share her alleged experience with her followers.

In a video, which was grabbed by social media users before Sorenson deleted it off of Instagram, the mother of two described the alleged kidnapping attempt that took place on Dec. 7 in a Michaels parking lot.

Sorenson alleged that an older Latino couple followed her into the store and began talking about the features of her children to someone on the phone.

“I heard them talking about the features of my children, but I was totally paralyzed with fear,” Sorensen said. “I just couldn't bring myself to say anything.”

She also alleged that the couple waited in line behind her, then “followed her into the parking lot” without making a purchase. 

She also alleged that a white van had parked next to her SUV, and that the man had “reached out” into her stroller. 

Sorenson then alleged that she saw an “older man” nearby who knew what was happening, and she screamed for help: “The gentleman looked at me, and his eyes were huge. He saw what was going on, and I just yelled for help.”

She then claimed that the couple got into a different car and left the parking lot, but another man got out of the van parked next to her car, rushed behind her, and acted like he was “trying to help her” before getting back in the van and driving away.

Authorities were able to identify the couple using the store’s security footage.

The couple, who have been identified as Sadie and Eddie Martinez, fully cooperated with the police during the initial investigation, and were cleared shortly after being interviewed.

"While acknowledging they had shopped at Michael’s and were the couple shown in the photograph, they denied the allegations being made against them by the reporting party," the Petaluma Police Dept. said in a statement. 

“To date, the investigation has produced no evidence or witnesses corroborating the account provided by the reporting party. Evidence gathered has served to support the account provided by the couple from the store," police said of the incident.

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Sadie and Eddie Martinez, who have five children between the ages of 11 and 24 as well as two grandchildren, were appalled by Sorenson’s claims, and spoke out against the allegations made by the wannabe mom influencer. Sadie said in a statement:

“I couldn’t believe it. It’s like we’re literally guilty of being brown while shopping.

We wanted to get a nativity scene to put beneath the tree. We got a little statue with the baby Jesus and some cloth gift bags.

I feel uncomfortable going back to that store now. One of my kids wanted to go there to buy stuff to make hot chocolate balls and I just don’t feel comfortable. 

I feel like I have a target on my back, now that our image is out on the internet. Who’s to say some crazy person is not gonna come for us?”

Sadie and Eddie Martinez’s daughter, Esaia, also spoke out about the incident targeting her mom and step-father, who was wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt at the time of Sorenson’s alleged kidnapping account.

"This isn’t the first racist injustice to occur in Petaluma by a long shot, but we are definitely grateful that in this case the truth was rightfully pursued," she said

Sadie Martinez echoed her daughter’s thoughts, saying, “I don’t know if anyone’s been paying attention the last four years, but there’s been a lot of racism going on and, well, Katie’s following suit.”

"Am I shocked? No. But will we stand for it? Hell no,” she added. “So today, I stand in front of everybody in a fight to prosecute Katie."

Police are growing increasingly suspicious of Sorenson’s alleged story.

The Petaluma Police Dept. issued a statement regarding Sorenson’s investigation on Dec. 17, and after finding that her original report did not match up with what she publicly alleged in her since-deleted Instagram video, the police are investigating Sorenson for a possible hate crime, as well as knowingly making a false police report.

“Hate crimes of any type will not be tolerated and will be pursued aggressively.  If evidence of a racially-motivated hate crime is found to have occurred we will seek prosecution to the fullest extent under the law. 
Additionally, we will also seek prosecution to the fullest extent of law, if, at any time during our investigation, we find evidence of a person knowingly and intentionally making a false report of a crime.”

The investigation remains ongoing.

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter