RICHFIELD — Investigators need your help identifying the driver of a vehicle that’s possibly connected to an attempted child enticement incident that occurred Friday afternoon.
Adults in the area surrounding the Village of Richfield, including Cindi Burrell, are telling their kids to be alert after authorities say a man tried to lure a 14-year-old girl to go with him.
“She knows to scream, yell and try to take off running. They teach her that in school and we reenforce it,” Burrell said.
Lieutenant Tim Kemps of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it happened around 4 p.m.
“She had been hanging out with a friend in the common area of the subdivision for several hours and they had gone their separate ways,” Kemps said.
The girl was walking west on Whispering Ridge near Scenic Road when Kemps said a man approached her from behind and said “come with me.”
She refused, and the man repeated himself in a demanding tone. Kemps said that’s when the girl took off running to a family friend’s house and called 911.
The man briefly chased her, but then turned around and was last seen heading back towards Scenic Road.
Kemps said before the girl encountered the man, she noticed a strange, old, brown van parked on Scenic Road. There was no one inside and it may have had reflective shadows over the side windows.
Sheriff's deputies have since located the van and the owner and ruled him out as a suspect; however, they do believe the suspect vehicle is still a van, just a different brown van.
“Unfortunately, these types of people they prey on people and they won’t stop generally until they’re caught,” Kemps said.
In the meantime, law enforcement and parents feel this is a good excuse to talk with their kids and remind them to be on the lookout.
“We as a community too need to get together and if you see something, open your mouth and say something, tell people,” Burrell said.
The suspect is described as a white man, with a raspy voice, average height, and wearing long tan shorts and brown Crocs.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (262) 335-4378 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.