UPDATE: Akron Public Schools said the story was fabricated and there was no abduction.
AKRON, OH – Akron Police are investigating a reported abduction and release of a 10-year-old girl while she was walking home from school Tuesday. The child’s mom called police around 3:00 pm on Tuesday saying that her daughter had been kidnapped and then thrown out of the van a little while later.
The fourth grader was walking home from David Hill Community Learning Center just after dismissal time when she told police a man in a black van with tinted windows started yelling at her and then grabbed her and put her inside his van.
The girl told police the man let her go about half a mile later along South Arlington Road. The girl said the man was white and wearing a blue shirt, black shorts and around 30 years old.
“She was not harmed. We don’t know if there was a threat of harm to her but she was dropped off,” explained Captain David Laughlin with Akron Police.
Since the reported abduction happened near the school and during dismissal time, Akron police are adding extra patrols to the area.
“To make sure the parents feel a little bit more at ease, that the police are responsive to them,” Captain Laughlin said. David Hill Community Learning Center also sent a letter home to parents letting them know about the abduction and reminding them to be careful.
The letter reads:
“Dear David Hill CLC Parents and Guardians
The safety of our students is our priority at Akron Public Schools and David Hill CLC. As we educate, we protect.
I want to advise you of an incident that occurred yesterday afternoon, after the end of our school day and ask that you take extra steps to protect your children as they are outside of our school boundaries. A student reported to police that a man in a van abducted her, then released her. She is safe.
She described the abductor as a white man in his 30's wearing a navy blue shirt and black shorts. She said his van was black with no side windows.
We are so very grateful she is okay and coming back to school, but we want this to serve as an advisory to parents to read the description again and keep a close eye out for the suspect.
Most importantly, be extra cautious as we step up our security efforts around David Hill and as police do the same in and around our community. As always, we are appreciative of their service to our families, students and staff.”
Police are currently working on obtaining surveillance video from businesses in the area where the girl said she was let go. Police say they take every report seriously regardless of where it comes from.
“We are doing everything in our power to do a full and complete investigation and exhaust everything; we won’t leave any stone unturned,” Laughlin said.