Officials from the Petal Police Department have determined that an attempted kidnapping allegation made by a 12-year-old girl turned out to be false.
Mayor Tony Ducker said on the afternoon of Oct. 13, the girl walked into the Keith’s Superstore at the intersection of South Main Street and Carterville Road and told workers someone had tried to kidnap her. Police were immediately notified and came to pick up the child.
“Basically, the little girl came in and was very frantic,” Ducker said. “She said there had been an attemped abduction, and she was able to break loose and run in there for help.”
Once police investigated, however, the girl’s story fell apart. Ducker then made a post on social media to let residents know the status of the claim.
“My biggest concern was getting the information out as soon as we learned that there was no abductor,” Ducker said. “We were trying to make sure we had all the facts before we went out there and said that.
“At the time, it didn’t feel (to police) like someone was at large, and obviously that’s the big concern, is wanting to get that information out as quickly as possible.”
The girl was safely taken home to her family.
“I think the kid was away from home, and felt like she was going to get in trouble on that side of it,” Ducker said. “From what I understand, the kid didn’t just say ‘hey, I’m going to go mess with the people in this store.’”
Ducker thanked the police department officials for their work in the matter.
“They were very proactive on that matter,” he said. “We know it’s always very sensitive situation when you’re dealing with kids.
“In so many situations, when those officers pull up, they don’t know what they’re facing. They were ready to go and look for someone if that would’ve been the case. They always have to be ready for whatever they might run into.”