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Wickliffe police say possible attempted abduction of 11-year-old girl was actually 'misunderstanding'

According to officials, a 71-year-old woman was concerned for the girl due to traffic and asked if she wanted a ride home. Authorities do not suspect any wrongdoing.
Credit: Wickliffe Police Department

WICKLIFFE, Ohio — The Wickliffe Police Department has closed its investigation of a possible attempted abduction of an 11-year-old girl, calling the situation merely a "misunderstanding."

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The ordeal began on Tuesday around 3:12 p.m. on Lloyd Road at the intersection of Clayton Avenue. Two bystanders called 911 and said a student crossing the intersection was approached by an "older white man" wearing a yellow shirt in a dark grey Volkswagen SUV that was previously stopped on Lloyd Road. They further told police the "man" spoke to the girl through the rolled up window and signaled her toward the rear of his vehicle. 

"The student became frightened, turned around and quickly walked away," Wickliffe police said in a press release.

Credit: Wickliffe Police Department

However, officials later located the vehicle around 3 p.m. Thursday and found it was, in fact, owned and operated by a 71-year-old woman. The female in question told detectives she was concerned for the girl's safety "due to the heavy volume of traffic" and did indeed stop her car and ask the child if she wanted a ride home. Authorities further noted the woman admitted her actions could have been perceived as suspicious and "was very apologetic" during questioning.

"We applaud the juvenile student's decision to not enter a stranger's vehicle and the efforts of the witnesses in stopping to offer their help to the student," Wickliffe Det. Sgt. James Coolick said in a statement.

Police confirm they do not suspect any wrongdoing and will not be seeking criminal charges in connection with this incident.


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