"That could've been my child:" Parents react to attempted kidnapping
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City 11-year-old was safe Tuesday after she told police she was nearly kidnapped on her way to West Elementary School.
The young girl told police she was riding her bike to school when a man pulled her off the bike and tried to kidnap her. She escaped and went to her school where police were called.
"It's scary, like, that could've been my child," said Stephanie Williams, whose own daughter attends West. "I don't know, it's very scary, very unsettling. You know, brings goose bumps."
Police praised the girl's composure.
"She's a very articulate and intelligent young lady," said Capt. Doug Shoemaker, who said he was impressed with the detail of the suspect description the girl provided.
She told police the man is in his mid-30s with scruffy, brown hair and crooked teeth. He was driving a bright red 4-door pickup truck. Police believe the truck has Missouri plates and the last digit might be an 8.
Jefferson City Public Schools notified parents about the attempted abduction Tuesday morning, and told students what happened in class. They also reminded students how to respond to "stranger danger".
"Like I always tell her anyway, like -- if someone's coming near you and you don't like it you scream," Williams said.
JCPS released a statement saying West School personnel immediately contacted the child's parents and Jefferson City police when they learned of the attempted abduction.
"Throughout the day, JCPS district officials communicated with staff and families and will continue to provide support as needed," the statement said.
Investigators said they were following up on several leads Tuesday afternoon.
If you have any information please contact the Jefferson City Police at (573) 634-6400 or CrimeStoppers at (573) 659-TIPS.