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Columbia police looking for man accused of trying to abduct young boy

Columbia police looking for man accused of trying to abduct young boy

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Update, 6:30 pm: Parents said Wednesday that Fairview Elementary staff asked parents picking up children from school to physically walk up to the building to get them for the rest of the week.

Columbia Public Schools officials also discourage any child from walking home from school activities and clubs because there's usually no one around that late and they're most likely walking alone instead of with groups or parents.

There will be extra supervision at all schools for the rest of the week.

Parents told ABC 17 News that they're going to remind their children about the importance of being aware of their surroundings and stranger danger.

"We're going to talk again about what we do if strangers approach," said Erin Cornish, a Fairview parent. "Adults don't ever need to ask kids questions or they don't need kids for help, they can ask other adults so we're definitely going to re educate and talk about that."

UPDATE 1 pm: A spokesperson for the Columbia Public School District sent out a letter to district families warning them of the incident. 

The spokesperson said when the school was notified of the incident, officials immediately contacted district safety and security and the police.

The letter states, "All district employees have been informed of the incident to ensure we remain alert and vigilant."

The district is also reminding parents and students to be vigilant and report anything suspicious.

ORIGINAL STORY: Columbia police are looking for a man accused of trying to abduct a child on Tuesday afternoon.

An 11-year-old victim told police he was walking home from Fairview Elementary School when he saw a vehicle pass him multiple times before the car came to a stop near the intersection of Chapel Hill Road and Handley Place. 

The boy told officers that when he approached the intersection, the driver of the suspicious car opened the passenger door and told the boy to get in. 

The boy was able to run away and safely get home. 

Police said the vehicle is described as a sandy gold/brown, extended cab pick-up truck with a camper shell and tinted windows. 

The suspect is described as a middle-aged white man with a white mustache and beard. He was last seen wearing a dark colored baseball cap and dark colored shirt. 

Officers are asking parents to remind their children to be aware of their surroundings when walking or biking home. Children are asked to remain with friends and notify an adult immediately if they see anything suspicious. 


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