VAN BUREN, MO (KFVS) -
The Carter County Sheriff's Office is investigating an attempted kidnapping.
Carter County Sheriff Bruce Van Belle said a female was jogging Thursday, August 16 in Van Buren along a rural area.
Monday afternoon, authorities told Heartland News they have investigated several leads, but continue to look for the suspects.
Van Belle says while jogging, a white commercial style van, with white or gray painted rear windows and no license plate, pulled up beside her with three white males inside.
Van Belle says one male opened the back door and told her to get inside. She was frightened and then ran into a wooded area.
The jogger told authorities that three males got out of the vehicle and chased after her. She got out of their sight long enough to duck behind a log and lie down.
She said heard the males talking and searching for her. One of the males said to the other two that "she was gone," and so they left quickly.
Sheriff Van Belle says they are looking for three white males with very thin appearances.
The female jogger describes the males as near anorexic looking. She said one of the males has a faded tattoo on his forearm.
The males were described as all wearing white T-shirts with short brown hair. The driver is said to have had a stubble beard.
Heartland News talked to the young woman, a college student, who did not want to appear on camera. She and sheriff's deputies feel her quick thinking helped her escape.
"I took off my shirt, shoes, and phone cover because of their bright colors," she said. "I hid until they were gone.
She now has scratches all over her face and legs from running through the woods.
Now people in the community say they are on the look out, and keeping their children close.
"It's just mind blowing," said Robbie Mesey. "We are keeping out kids side by side now."
Van Belle says if anyone is approached by an unknown person and asked to come with them, to scream. Then he says to run away as fast as possible toward a populated area.
The Carter County Sheriff's Office is being assisted by neighboring sheriff's departments and the Missouri Highway Patrol in the investigation.
If anyone knows any information or sees a van that looks suspicious call the Carter County Sheriff's Office or local authorities.