Search underway for man who tried to kidnap little girl leaving school in N. Ogden

Aug 26, 2022, 8:03 PM

NORTH OGDEN, Utah — Parents are on high alert in North Ogden after two scary encounters near North Ogden Elementary in less than 24 hours.

On Thursday, at approximately 2:48 p.m., Weber Area Dispatch Center received a call regarding the attempted kidnapping of a 9-year-old girl from a LDS Church parking lot located at 626 E. 2600 North, about a half block from the school.

“She was walking to the LDS Church to meet with her father after school getting out at North Ogden Elementary. As she was walking through the parking lot, the described male got out of his car and waved at her,” said Patrol Sgt. Brandon Morreale. “Kind of waving her down, she approached toward him and he asked if she was lost. She said, ‘I’m not lost, I’m just trying to find my dad.’”

Morreale said the man then grabbed the girl by the arm and started to force her towards his vehicle’s open door.

“She kicked him in his leg and she ran away, and kudos to her because that’s amazing,” Morreale said.

Morreale said the girl ran to a nearby house and tried knocking on the door, but nobody answered. Moments later, her father spotted her and picked her up in his truck.

“Obviously a little bit rattled, but she was able to express everything clearly, explain what happened,”

The girl described her attacker as tall, dark, between 20-30 years old. She also told police he was wearing black clothing, a black surgical style mask, and black shoes with white soles. She said he was driving a black “sporty-style” type car with an unknown sticker in the rear window.

“She did everything you would hope that a child would do in a situation like this,” said Lane Findlay, communications and safety specialist for the Weber School District.

Findlay said this was the first of two incidents at or near the school in 24 hours. The second happened Friday morning.

“We have a park, some shared grounds between the school and city, and from what I understand, there was an individual there in the park and had approached some kids and talking to them, and there were some conversations about them going with him.”

Once again, the students took action and ran to the school, telling staff about the encounter. Police made contact with the man from the park and said he’s not the suspect from the attempted kidnapping.

“Completely unrelated, 100%. Totally different suspect, totally different everything. Nothing criminal happened out there this morning, just a weird circumstance — made weirder by the fact of what happened yesterday,” Morreale said.

“To have two real serious incidents back to back at one school creates a lot of concern,” Findlay said. “I think we’ve been very fortunate in these cases that kids are safe. We’ve been working closely with the North Ogden Police Department and getting messaging out to parents about what’s occurred, and hopefully that starts some conversations within families about stranger danger and safety in general.”

North Ogden police are asking residents who live close to the elementary school and the LDS Church where the attempted kidnapping occurred to look at their security footage, and if they see the suspect’s vehicle, to call them immediately.

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Search underway for man who tried to kidnap little girl leaving school in N. Ogden