Yesterday, we shared information from Parker police about what officers described as an apparent child-abduction attempt. Turns out the operative word in that sentence was "apparent," since cops now say the report was mistaken -- evidence of how rattled nerves remain following this month's disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway and the arrest of teenager Austin Sigg for the ten-year-old Westminster girl's kidnapping and murder. Details below.
At about 2:34 p.m. on Sunday, as we reported, police were dispatched to the 2300 block of Broadmoore Drive in Parker. There, they learned that an eight-year-old boy had been approached by a white male in a light-colored dress shirt; he was behind the wheel of a black, four-door vehicle and in the company of a teenage girl. The man allegedly asked the boy to get into the car, but he ran home instead and told his parents what happened, prompting a call to the cops.
Shortly thereafter, Parker police released the following photo of the vehicle in question:
Sounded scary, particularly in light of recent events. But after finding the driver of the vehicle, 7News reports, Parker officers discovered that the man was looking for a nearby address and merely wanted to ask the boy for directions when he panicked.
This isn't the first time since Jessica Ridgeway went missing on October 5 that a benign incident was misinterpreted as a possible criminal act. A couple of weeks back, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office circulated the photo of a car allegedly involved in a potential child abduction in Golden, a community south of Pattridge Park, the open space area where Jessica's remains were located days after she vanished. Here's that image:
Soon thereafter, however, the young driver turned himself in to authorities in order to clear himself from suspicion. He told cops he'd approached a thirteen-year-old boy to get info about his former girlfriend, not to snatch the child -- but because of the concerns raised by Jessica's case, he instantly became a kidnapping suspect.
Such occurrences are to be expected after such a shocking crime -- and don't be surprised if other reports turn out to be similarly innocent. Let's hope so, anyway.
Continue to see our previous coverage of the child-abduction-attempt report, as well as a previous Parker incident. Original post, 6:01 a.m. October 29: Parker police are sharing info about another possible child-abduction attempt; see a suspect vehicle photo below. It's the second such report there of late, and one of several that's cropped up in the metro area since the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway and the arrest of teenager Austin Sigg for the ten-year-old Westminster girl's kidnapping and murder. What impact might these events have on kids wanting to trick or treat on Halloween?
The previous incident was described by the Parker Police Department as a "suspicious occurrence." The location: the Clarke Farms Subdivision.
What happened? At about 3:30 p.m. on October 14, as we've previously reported, Parker officers responded to the subdivision and spoke with the mother of three children. She said she was placing two of her kids in her car when she heard another vehicle -- she described it as a teal-colored Chevrolet Astro van -- pull up to the house and a male voice call out. When she turned, she saw a man "signaling" with his hands to her third child, age four, to come to the van.
Once the man saw the woman, she told officers, he ducked in an apparent attempt not be seen, then drove away.
This incident immediately leaps to mind in connection with what reportedly took place yesterday on the 2300 block of Broadmoore Drive in Parker. At about 2:34 p.m., police say an eight-year-old boy was approached by a white male in a light-colored dress shirt in a black, four-door vehicle. The man, joined in the car by a teenage girl according to neighbors, allegedly asked the boy to get into the car. Instead, he ran home and told his parents what happened. They promptly phoned police.
The Parker cops have released the following surveillance photo of what they believe was the vehicle in question:
At this point, the Parker PD doesn't know if this incident has any connection to the one that took place earlier this month. They ask folks with info about either of happenings to phone the department at 303-841-9800.
Will this report and others (including an alleged child-luring incident in Aurora last week) make concerned parents change plans regarding Halloween trick or treating on Wednesday? A man who works in pediatrics at Boulder Community Hospital has organized a "pumpkin patrol" in Boulder to make sure nothing untoward happens -- but the concern goes beyond that community. Expect more trick or treaters than usual to be accompanied by parents or guardians, or to participate in organized events at a single location rather than going door to door this year.
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Look below to see an interactive graphic near the scene of the latest Parker incident. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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