Woman who triggered jetliner scare being sent back to France

Woman who triggered jetliner scare being sent back to France
News
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 6:38pm

(CNN) -- A woman blamed for a security scare aboard a U.S.-bound jetliner will be sent back to France and won't face criminal charges, federal prosecutors in Maine said Wednesday.

Lucie Zeeko Merigot is being turned over to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency after a court appearance Wednesday in Bangor, U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty announced.

The 41-year-old Merigot had been booked into the Penobscot County jail for interfering with a flight crew late Tuesday, about 12 hours after US Airways Flight 787 was diverted to Bangor, but Delahanty said prosecutors decided against charges after the FBI questioned crew members and flight attendants into Wednesday morning.

Federal officials said the flight from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina, was diverted as a precaution after Merigot claimed to have a surgically implanted device inside her. In a written statement, Delahanty said Merigot's note, in French, said she was "simply a victim of a group of doctors" and that she had "an object in her body that is out of my control."

She told a flight attendant that she did not know whether the object could hurt her or others, but doctors who examined her found no sign of recent surgical scars.

"The continuing investigation revealed that the plane and its crew and passengers were never actually in danger at any time," the statement said. Marigot, a Cameroon-born French citizen, also gave the crew "a book authored by her that details her personal story."

Andrew Kobayashi, a passenger on the Boeing 767, said the woman was sweaty and "being a weirdo" during the flight. The crew told passengers the flight was landing in Bangor because of uncharacteristically strong headwinds that that required the plane to take on more fuel, Kobayashi and other passengers said. But after the jet landed, they said, one of the pilots apologized to passengers for the deception.

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CNN's Bill Mears and Aaron Cooper contributed to this report.
 

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