PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - Police said an 11-year-old admitted to giving false information regarding what they thought was an attempted child abduction.
On Thursday, Nov. 7, police said they were contacted about the alleged attempted child abduction that happened on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The caller told offers she was the person who gave the 11-year-old a ride back to the child’s home Tuesday morning in her silver Chrysler 300.
The woman told officers she knew the family and the child’s aunt.
Police said they spoke to the 11-year-old who admitted to giving false information to match information her sister provided to their father and officers.
Officials said the 11-year-old’s older sister saw her get into a vehicle and believed the driver was an unknown man.
The child went along with this information to match what her older sister told officers.
Police had previously investigated the incident as an attempted child abduction.
Originally, police were told the child was walking to school on Tuesday morning with a sibling, but the sibling left to return home for a forgotten item.
According to the child, she was approached by a white male driving a silver car, she identified it as a Chevy Cruze. The child described the man as being about 6-feet tall, balding on top with short, brownish hair on the sides in a buzz cut. He reportedly had a five o’clock shadow of a beard that was brownish gray in color as well.
The girl reported the man had missing teeth on the upper set of his mouth. He was in his late 30s to early 40s and was said to have a tattoo on his left hand and inner left wrist.
The girl said the man approached her after her sibling left and asked if she needed a ride. She was reluctant until the man said he knew her aunt.
Police say she did get into the vehicle with the suspect as he drove toward the school, but she said she became uncomfortable with the comments he made to her. When the vehicle stopped at a stop sign, she unlocked her door and got out.
This information provided by the 11-year-old was false, according to police.
Police said a similar incident was reported to the police department on October 24. There is no indication that the information from the October incident is false. Police said they are actively seeking information on this incident.
They say a man approached a female student on her way home from school in a silver car and tried to talk to her. The girl was uncomfortable and ran back to school.
The police department said it will be expanding its patrol area of school zones in an effort to ensure student safety, as well as working with the local schools to raise awareness of stranger danger.
Mother of two Sarah Kuntze said she is disturbed by the reports of the attempted kidnappings in Perryville.
“In my day it was they had a puppy or they had candy,” Kuntze said. “Now they’ve made it personal, and they will say anything and it’s just scary.”
Kuntze gave her children passwords only her family knows in case someone else has to pick them up.
“Anybody that associates with our kids knows our password," Kuntze said. "So they know if they don’t it it’s not ok, and that they shouldn’t go with them.”
If your student walks to school, Sgt. Clark Parrott with Missouri State Highway Patrol suggests knowing their route and to find a neighbor you trust who can step in if they’re approached.
“We need to make sure that we’re stressing that you do not get in a car with a stranger you don’t know," Parrott said. "The conversation needs to happen, and it needs to happen often.”
Sgt. Parrott said its also important to know who your child is speaking to online and through social media.
“Don’t divulge personal information like where you go to school, other locations, things like that. You know just be involved in your kids life,” Parrott said.
Kunzte tries to find a balance and teaches her kids to be friendly to others but cautious and aware of their surroundings.
“Most people are good but there are people out there that are not good people and they wouldn’t hesitate to take you," Kuntze said. "I used to tell my daughter that when she was little, little in the store when she wouldn’t want to stay by me. There are people that would take you and not bring you back.”
Cpl. Jeri Cain with Perryville Police Department is urging the public to “See something, say something," and contact the police department immediately if your child has been approached by a stranger.
The sooner there are officers in the area, the better chance of finding a suspect.
Police ask that anyone with information regarding the October incident to contact PO Blake Wright or Det. Jordan Bain at 573-547-4546.