Attempted Abduction Leaves Parents With Questions; Authorities Try to Give Answers

MARCH 2, 2006 -- POSTED AT 9:00 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- Monday at Westside Elementary, an intruder walked right through the front door and attempted to abduct a child. The intruder tried to convince the student to leave with him, but luckily the student did the right thing and ran back to the classroom. The intruder immediately left the school building, leaving the student as the only witness to the frightening incident.

Officials at Westside Schools have sent home tips to help parents discuss this situation with their children...hoping to provide parents with some much needed answers.

The Craighead County Sheriff's Office has started to investigate the case and now they're giving some answers to worried parents.

"This is a very serious incident and we're very fortunate that someone didn't get hurt. We're doing everything we can to find this person at this point, " says Sheriff Jack McCann.

The child gave police a good description of the intruder and now they are working to create a possible suspect list. Westside says they're working hard to keep their students safe, but it's going to take a joint effort from both the parents, as well as the entire community.Sheriff McCann says one of the most important things to tell your child is to make sure they know not to speak to any strangers.

"What I think the parents need to do is give an example of what this child did. When the man she didn't know spoke to her she ran back into the class, and that's the ideal thing to do," says Sheriff McCann.

Educating your child about what to do in situations like this is always the key, because no matter what school officials may try to prevent, security can always fail.

"To me, they have to have a good security system. It can always be better, and I'm sure they'll make some adjustments, but if someone wants to abduct a child and they're determined to do it, they can't be stopped," says Sheriff McCann.

A Red Chevrolet S-10 was spotted on the campus Monday morning, around the time the incident occurred. Police are reviewing several possible leads and are putting together a suspect list for the child to review.

If you have any information regarding this case, police are asking you to immediately contact the Craighead County Sheriff's Office at 933-4551.