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SPD investigating alleged attempted child abduction

SPD investigating alleged attempted...

SPOKANE, Wash. - Police are investigating a possible attempted kidnapping outside Salk Middle School in north Spokane.

A 6th grade girl says a woman ordered her to get in her car Thursday afternoon on the east side of the school at Alberta and Holyoke.

Spokane Police and school district officials are taking this incident very seriously.

This girl says her would-be kidnapper looked like somebody's grandmother. If someone out there is using a disguise or sweet old lady look to get closer to our kids, that could be very dangerous.

The driver of a silver WUV cut off the 12-year-old in a parking lot and then threatened the child.

“She said “Get in the car, you have no other options,” said the child's mother, Jill Hempel.

The girl, who's actually a student at nearby Balboa Elementary, was taking a shortcut on her half mile walk home by going through Salk.

The 6th grader ran inside the school where Salk's campus resource officer called Spokane Police who sent up patrol cars to look for the silver SUV.

“The police came in and they couldn't find the vehicle but that won't stop us there,” said Mark Sterk with the Spokane School District. “We still have other steps we need to take there and the CRO [campus resource officer] is doing that.”

For example, the campus resource officer is sharing a description of the car and suspect with other schools and the police department's crime analysis unit.

The one surveillance camera that might have recorded the incident wasn't working Thursday, but it is now thanks to the CRO.

“Something everybody should know it's not necessarily a man who's going to abduct kids,” said Hempel. “Unfortunately in this situation you have to protect your kids by letting them know it could be a lady who looks like a grandmother.”

In the meantime, the child's parents have outfitted their daughter with some new gear and a new warning that bad people come in all shapes ,sizes and genders.

“She actually now wears a whistle around her neck so that she can have something drawing the attention of other people, but she knows to never get in the car with anybody, it doesn't matter what their age is or their gender. You just don't know who to trust,” said Hempel.

“Yelling, screaming, whistles... all great ideas to draw people's attention to this kind of thing so that kids are as safe as they can be,” said Sterk.

In order to make sure this 6th grader can be as safe as possible, the principal here at Salk actually gave her a tour of the school and the route she could take through this campus where the adult staff could keep a better eye on her.


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