POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KAIT) - A 37-year-old Poplar Bluff woman faces kidnapping charges after police say she checked a child out of school without the parent's consent.
The child's father, James Miller, reported the incident to Poplar Bluff police on Thursday.
He said the previous day Lori Flickinger had gone to the Poplar Bluff Junior High School and signed out his 13-year-old daughter.
Miller said he has no idea how something like this could have happened so easily.
"We watch her every morning to make sure she gets on the bus to go to school," Miller said. "From there we think she's safe. But apparently they're not. I don't understand how they could have let a stranger in there to pick up my kid. That's really got me upset."
According to an email from Captain J.R. Keirsey, Flickinger claimed she was the girl's sister and that she was checking her out of school "for a family matter."
Keirsey said, Flickinger used a false name to sign out the girl.
Poplar Bluff Jr. High Principal Bob Case said he is taking full responsibility for what happened.
He said he let his secretaries leave for lunch to celebrate Secretary's Day.
When they left, he took over the office and said he got overwhelmed.
"A lady came in wanting to check out a child gave me the correct family name gave me all that however I didn't check the name on demographics and the child willingly went with the lady and unfortunately it wasn't supposed to happen," Case said. "I was trying to get through it quickly and didn't follow one procedure that we always follow and I didn't do it."
After leaving the school, investigators said Flickinger took the girl to eat at a local restaurant then to her house.
The child stayed at Flickinger's residence for a few hours before the suspect took her to an after-school church activity and dropped her off.
When questioned by police, Flickinger reportedly admitted to the incident and said she was a friend of the child's biological mother.
Following the interview, police arrested Flickinger on a charge of kidnapping and took her to the Butler County Justice Center.
James Miller and his wife want to see the school take action to prevent something like this from happening again.
Case said he wants to work with the school board to get better identification technology for the school.
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