"I hear she's on her way to LAX and getting on a flight back to New York," Santa Monica Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry White told the New York Post hours after Lohan's attorney assured a California Superior Court judge Lohan was already "ensconced in the bosom" of the Morningside Recovery drug rehab center in Newport Beach, Calif., south of Los Angeles.
"She's there. In fact, she is going to be meeting later today with a psychiatrist, and her therapy and treatment is undergoing immediate commencement," Lohan attorney Mark Heller told Judge James Dabney.
White said if it's true Lohan has fled, he would ask Dabney to issue a warrant for Lohan's immediate arrest.
The Post said that could happen as early as Friday.
The troubled actress, who made her motion picture debut in Disney's remake of "The Parent Trap," was under court order to begin 90 days of rehabilitation to settle charges she lied to police after crashing into a truck on California's Pacific Coast Highway last summer.
Minutes after Heller told Dabney Lohan had checked in, celebrity news website TMZ published photos of Lohan shopping at Fry's Electronics, a big-box consumer electronics store, in Fountain Valley, 8 miles south of Newport Beach.
"Lindsay Lohan's lawyer lied in court when he said his client was already ensconced in a rehab facility," the website said. "She was actually roaming the aisles of an electronics store."
About 2 hours later, Lohan is reported to have pulled up to Morningside in a sport utility vehicle but drove away without the actress getting out.
Morningside is unlicensed, California Department of Alcohol and Drug Program Deputy Director Millicent Tidwell told the Post.
It's illegal in California to offer residential drug and alcohol treatment without a license.
It wasn't immediately clear if Lohan or her team knew Morningside was unlicensed.
The "Mean Girls" actress earlier agreed to check in Thursday to the Seafield Center alcohol and drug rehab center in Westhampton Beach, N.Y., on Long Island.
But at the last second, she went against the prosecution's recommendation and said she would check in to Morningside, Heller said.