Attempted Child Abduction
COLUMBIA - An 11-year-old boy is safe after an attempted child abduction on Tuesday in the area of Chapel Hill Road and Handley Place.
According to police, the boy was walking home from Fairview Elementary School shortly before 4:30 p.m. when he saw a truck pass by him several times. At one point, he said the truck stopped, and the driver opened the passenger door and told the boy to get in.
The boy ran away and was able to get home safely.
Police said the truck is a sandy gold/brown, extended cab pick-up truck with a camper shell and tinted windows.
Columbia Police said at this point in the investigation, they believe the man was not known to the child.
Columbia Police Department public information officer Bryana Larimer encourages anyone with information to reach out to CPD.
"We were really fortunate in this case that the child had a great memory in terms of remembering specific details about the particular suspect and specific vehicle details," Larimer said. "We've actually already started receiving tips in about seeing vehicles like that around town."
Meagan McCaughey lives on Handley Pl. and says she was in the living room at the time of the abduction.
"It's really unsettling that I was sitting just a little bit away from where it happened and that I wasn't able to help in any way," McCaughey said.
She said the neighborhood has always felt safe and hopes the kids in the neighborhood know they can knock on her door if they need help.
"It can happen anywhere. It doesn't matter if you're in a safe area or not, people can travel so they can come here too," McCaughey said.
Columbia Public Schools and CPD are encouraging parents to remind children to stay alert and aware of their surroundings when walking or biking home. If possible, children should be with a friend and tell an adult immediately if they see any suspicious vehicles or people.
CPS notified all parents and employees of the driver's description.