Report of attempted kidnapping in Shrewsbury deemed a misunderstanding

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by Russell Kinsaul / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 20 at 5:59 PM

(KMOV) --  Shrewsbury Police say what appeared to be an attempted kidnapping was actually a misunderstanding at an area soccer tournament. 

 It happened last Wednesday in Wehner Park during the 23rd Annual St. Michael's CYC Soccer Tournament. A woman was seen grabbing the hand of a 2-year-old boy and reportedly headed toward a parking lot. 

Police said the parents reported being near the Festival Pavilion and their toddler was playing nearby when a woman walked up and took the child's hand and started walking toward the parking lot with boy.

The child's mother ran up, tapped the woman on the shoulder and said, "Hey, that's my son." Police said the mother found it odd that the woman made no effort to explain why she tried to lead the child away.

Police now say what looked like an attempt to kidnap was really a volunteer who thought the child was lost and was trying to help. 

The woman was allegedly working at the event's concession stand when she noticed the child. She assumed he could be searching for his parents when she began to user him toward the "Lost and Found" area of the tournament. 

Police said the parents thought the incident was odd but didn't report it to police until two days later after seeing reports of a woman in a white van, trying to lure a girl into her vehicle in Ellisville.

At the time of the incident, the woman did not explain herself to parents so they thought her actions were suspicious and filed a report with authorities.

 After receiving the report of the alleged possible attempted kidnapping, Shrewsbury Police stepped up patrols. Lt Catlett said, "We had off duty officers hired by the tournament to patrol the grounds on the weekend." He added, "Our officers that were working the streets were instructed to conduct foot and vehicle patrols throughout the park."  

The misunderstanding comes after several other attempted abductions in the last week, with the latest being in Wentzville.

Court documents say John Perry approached two girls on a front porch Sunday before grabbing the victim’s neck and taking off running.

The girl’s mother and a neighbor chased him and police say he dropped her.

Perry reportedly told authorities a voice told him to hurt someone. The child was apparently the first person he saw.

That incident came just days after an attempted abduction in Ellisville.

Police are trying to determine if a woman who reportedly approached two Ellisville boys is the same driver who approached a fourth-grade girl.

Reportedly a woman in a white van circled the girl three times asking if she needed a ride to school.

The girl was able to run home.  Saturday, a woman in a white van asked two 13-year-old boys if they had heard about it.

 Investigators are asking anyone who sees anything suspicious in the area to call Ellisville police.

 

Woman working concssion stand noticed the child wandering alone. She attempted to take the child to the los

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