Murphysboro Girl Escapes Attempted Abduction - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Murphysboro, IL

Murphysboro Girl Escapes Attempted Abduction

Murphysboro Girl Escapes Attempted Abduction
By: Carly O'Keefe

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. - Seven-year-old Melissa Lawrence just got an A+ on her math quiz, which means it was a good day at school. But Tuesday's school day could have ended very badly, as Melissa was nearly kidnapped. "There was a red dodge van behind my school bus," said Lawrence. "When the bus left, he jumped out of the car and started pulling on my hand, my wrist."

Lawrence screamed; and that scream just may have saved her life. "When [cousins] Jacob and Daniel came, he got in the van and left really fast," said Lawrence. "He had a red hat on facing backwards he had a jacket on that was red in the front and black in the back."

Although she's only seven years old, Melissa did what police tell kids to do should a stranger try to abduct them. "Let somebody know. If you're screaming, hollering and kicking--if someone hears that they'll know something's not right," said Murphysboro Police Chief Jeff Bock.

Her cousins reported to police that they heard Melissa scream and witnessed her run away from the red van.

Once Melissa arrived home, her mother Dena Lawrence couldn't believe how close she came to losing her daughter. "It was too close to home. You hear about it in St. Louis, but this was here. It was actually my little girl could have been taken, something bad could have happened," said Dena Lawrence. "I'm so glad she's okay now."

Police are looking for two black males driving a red van. The men left Murphysboro traveling westbound on Illinois Route 149.

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