Polk deputies searching for kidnapping suspect

Posted at 10:51 PM, Mar 08, 2016
Polk County deputies are investigating an apparent attempted abduction of an 11-year-old girl.

The incident occurred as the girl was walking home from her bus stop about 4 p.m. Tuesday on Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Ronald Reagan Parkway in Davenport. She was headed east on the sidewalk along Ronald Reagan Parkway when a car heading west pulled up.
Key information
Suspect: A white man in his late 40s to early 50s with short hair, salt-and-pepper goatee and a sunburned or red complexion. He wore a dark green shirt with orange letters on the front.
Vehicle: A 2000-model white four-door with tinted windows, black rims and a black back bumper.
A passenger in the car told her, “Your mom is in the hospital, and she sent us to get you,” deputies said. 
The girl ran away, and the car left heading west on Ronald Reagan Parkway.

"There's monsters out there trying to abduct little children," said Hector Gonzalez, a parent who lives very near the victim's home. 

He said he tells his children, who are 11 and 14, to take no chances with strangers.

"I told them, run fast and scream for help, knock on every door that you can get to, whatever you do, stay away from the car, stay away from the individual," Gonzalez said.

Law enforcement agencies across the country recommend that parents not have their kids walk home alone from the bus stop and should try and organize groups of children to walk together.

They also say parents should tell kids that if they are being abducted or followed by a stranger, to say "Help, call the police," "Help, this is not my mom," or "Help, I'm being kidnapped."

Officers said that alerts bystanders that this isn't just a temper tantrum or fight.

If you have information about the incident contact Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200 or report an anonymous tip to Heartland Crime Stoppers at 800-226-8477.