Family upset at police response to alleged stranger danger incid - WNEM TV 5

Family upset at police response to alleged stranger danger incident

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Neighbors are on the lookout after a man in a van allegedly approached a young girl on her bike and tried to lure her to his van with candy.

The family of the girl in question said it happened in Sanford. The girl denied the man's offer and ran for help.

Police said they received a call regarding the incident, but did not find a person or van.

The family said they are frightened and frustrated with the lack of response.

"I seen a black van that stopped me," said Carlie Swarthout, 7.

She said it happened on Tuesday.

"He said do you want some candy," Carlie said. "He had white skin and he had black hair and he had a half ponytail."

The Midland County Sheriff's Department released a statement regarding their investigation into the alleged incident. The department said a deputy was dispatched to a delayed suspicious situation on Dorothy Drive in Sanford on Tuesday. That deputy looked for a van in the area, but it was never found.

The department said it would follow up and see if there are any possible witnesses.

Liz Hollinshead said on Thursday a blue four door van entered her driveway. She had never seen the vehicle before and rushed out to see if it was the man who approached Carlie.

"The gentleman hurried up and backed out of the driveway as I come running from here to there, backed up and took off down to the road. By the time I got to the end of the road, came back up, called 911, the gentleman turned left on Water Road and was never seen again," Hollinshead said.

Hollinshead called 911.

"She asked me if I wanted to have a police follow up and I said no. I wanted the police to go chase this van. Don't come to my home, the van is gone. And they never came out to get an interview or anything," Hollinshead said.

She thought the police would pursue the van and then come to her home, but she said that didn't happen.

Hollinshead believes authorities can do a better job of finding the van. Although, two witness accounts differ on whether the van was black or blue and no one got a license plate number.

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