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Woman arrested for prank text message

By Staff | Dec 11, 2013

HUGHESVILLE – A Wolf Township mother is in trouble with the law for allegedly sending text messages to a relative that made reference to “hiding a body” and “Where’s my money,” according to state police.

Amanda Sue Gelnett, 43, of 54 Orchard Ave., admitted that she and her teenage daughter “came up with the idea to send the text messages” to her brother-in-law as “a joke or a prank,” Trooper Jeffrey Vilello said.

However, investigators believe the situation was no laughing matter.

Gelnett faces misdemeanor charges of false alarms to public safety, corrupting the morals of a minor and harassment for allegedly sending the text messages to Melvin Gelnett, of Hughesville, in late April 2012, Vilello said.

When the man received the messages on his cellphone, he did not know the telephone number from where the messages were sent, the investigator said. He became so alarmed that he notified police.

The telephone number that appeared on the cellphone was traced back to “a landline (a telephone) in Albany, Ga.,” Vilello said.

A Georgia detective soon began working the case and investigators filed documents in court to obtain more critical information that led them to Amanda Gelnett’s home, Vilello said.

“An extensive investigation was conducted to determine the origin of the telephone number and the identity of the individual responsible for sending the messages,” Vilello said in an affidavit.

Melvin Gelnett did not recognize the number on his cellphone because his sister-in-law used a free text message service on her daughter’s iPod touch device, Vilello said.

The mother “encouraged her daughter to commit crimes and engage in criminal behavior,” Vilello said in the affidavit.

Following a preliminary hearing, District Judge Gary W. Whiteman ruled their was sufficient evidence to hold Amanda Gelnett on all three charges. She is free on $2,500 bail.