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Potential abductor on the loose

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

HARMONY, Ind. -- Law enforcement officials urge parents to keep a watchful eye on their children after an alleged attempted abduction Tuesday afternoon.

"Parents should always use caution if they have children playing outside, but we're asking them to take extra care right now," Deputy James Switzer told The Brazil Times.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Tuesday, Switzer responded to a report of possible child abduction at a Harmony residence.

According to a press release provided by Switzer, a 4-year-old child was playing outside when a 20-30-year-old man driving a white Ford Explorer, stopped in front of the residence.

The white male suspect, who is reported to have a medium to dark complexion, asked several questions, including the whereabouts of the child's "mommy." The suspect then asked the child to get in the vehicle so he could take the child to their mother.

When an adult inside the residence overheard the conversation and approached the door, they observed the white Ford Explorer. When the suspect saw another adult at the home, he drove off.

Witnesses were not able to provide any further information about the suspect or the vehicle.

"Anyone who saw this vehicle or might see this vehicle needs to call their local police department with the information," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said. "It would be great if we could get the license plate of the vehicle, but no one should put themselves in harm's way to do it. We don't know the intentions of this suspect."

The sheriff's department and the Brazil City Police Department are actively investigating the case, but Heaton encourages parents to take this opportunity to talk to their children, no matter what their age, about stranger danger.

"It might be difficult, but it is vital that parents talk to their children about what to do if a stranger approaches them. There is information is available at the Clay County Justice Center for parents who need help in talking to their children," Heaton said. "Children of all ages are outside during the summer months playing and enjoying the weather, and an adult should be present at all times for safety. In a split second, in a minute, lives can change drastically. No one wants that to happen."

To report information any time of the day about this case, or any other, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535 or the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211.

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I hope someone thinks enough to check out the vehicles at the park.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 9:50 AM

I really hope that they catch this sicko but who in the right mind would allow a 4 year old to play outside by themselves. I grew up in a time where that could happen but I never allowed my children that range from age 22 to 13 to play outside without adult supervision

-- Posted by bwitchy on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 10:04 AM

You know, before we jump to conclusions and label someone a bad parent (which is the perception of your comment) .. it is possible that the child went outside for a toy and .. being a typical 4yo ended up staying outside longer than the adult anticipated .. it's been nice outside and we always encourage our kids (at least I do) to go out instead of sitting in the house all day. Doesn't take long for a pediphile (if he is one) to notice a child alone ..

I'm glad this child is safe.

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 10:16 AM

I have let my 4 year old go outside. Not for hours, but for a brief period of time. I do not think the parent or the child are at fault, I think the sicko that tried to get this child into a car is at fault.

Have you noticed that things like this happen during festivals???? 4th of July.. attempted abudction... covered bridge... shooting at a school!

-- Posted by sassypants on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 1:20 PM

It does seem that things like this happen more frequently when the carnival is here. I'm not saying anything bad about the carnival & it does help our local economy some, but it seems that crimes increase when it is here. If you don't believe it...ask the police officers who have to deal with it.

-- Posted by th1953 on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 2:47 PM

It seems like alot of people are jumping to the conclusion that the child wasn't being monitored. The Adult was there at the door and overheard the guys conversation. Maybe the adult went inside to answer the phone or grab a drink? Instructing the children what to do when strangers are around is great but lets hold off on teh blame ame shall we? Let's concentrate on figureing out who the sicko is.

-- Posted by Inquizitor on Thu, Jul 10, 2008, at 10:26 PM

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