Woman works to clear name after jail identity mix-up

- You've heard of stolen identities, but a local teen says she has warrants out for her arrest from someone using her name at the Mecklenburg County Jail.

Cori Howard tells FOX 46 Charlotte she first heard there were warrants out for her arrest 9 months ago, when her family called her at work asking what was happening. When she searched the jail website, the mugshot of another woman popped up.

"It wasn't me. I haven't committed any crimes. I don't even own a gun," said Howard.

The woman in the mugshot is actually named T'Nia Jones. She was arrested Monday, this time being booked in the Mecklenburg County Jail under her own name.

Cori Howard explained the situation to her family.

"Once they pulled up the picture and saw who it was, they were like that's T'Nia and I said that's what I have been telling you," she said.

Cori Howard tells FOX 46 Charlotte T'Nia Jones is her friend, but after some trouble with the law, she started using her name when she was booked at the jail.

"I think she realized what it was going to do but she didn't care," says Howard. "It made it very hard for me to get a job, sign up for school, try to move ahead in life. Trying to get interviews to work places. I will go to the interview and once my background check comes back they say we aren't going to hire you," said Howard.

Employers aren't allowing the real Cori Howard explain that she has a squeaky clean criminal record.

CMPD tells FOX 46 Charlotte that officers ask suspects for identification when they're arrested. The ultimate way to confirm if a suspect is really who they say they are is left up to Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Deputies who take finger prints during the booking process.

Somehow T'nia Jones was able to slip through the cracks. Now, it's up to Cori Howard to clear her name.

"I am a little aggravated because it's just like I am trying to get it fixed and they are giving me a hard time about getting my identity back when in fact it's my life being ruined and getting put on hold because someone else took it upon themselves to use it," said Howard.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office says they are looking in to how this incident. They tell FOX 46 Charlotte it is possible that during her first ever arrest, T'Nia Jones used the ID of her friend Cori Howard. Her finger prints could have then been submitted under the name "Cori Howard".

Howard tells FOX 46 Charlotte her ID and Social Security Card went missing before her friend was arrested.r friend was arrested.

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