Ellisville police warning parents after woman tries to lure girl into car

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ELLISVILLE, MO (KTVI)-- A warning is being issued for parents in Ellisville after a ten year old girl is repeatedly asked by a stranger to get in her van.

It happened at about 8:30 A.M. Wednesday, when a woman in a white minivan rolled up to a bus stop near the girl`s home in the 1500 block of Hummingbird Hill Drive in Ellisville, asking what seemed like a harmless question.

"I believe the direct quote was `honey do you need a ride?`" said Ellisville Police Officer George Corless.

The girl, who is starting the fourth grade at Ellisville Elementary, who was alone at the stop, says when she told the woman in the van she did not want a ride, the woman circled the block two more times, each time inviting her to get in the van.

But on that third attempt, the woman added something to her story that made the girl realize it could be a kidnapping attempt.

"She said your mother just called, she is going to work and that she needs to take me to school, but I said in my head, no that`s not possible because my mom`s inside and she`s not going to work," the girl said.

Realizing that the woman was lying, the girl ran into her house and told her mother, who immediately called the police.

"We responded to the area, stopped several minivans in the area," Corless said. "We were unable to locate the specific van. We notified the schools in the area of the potential threat."

The van the girl described to police is thought to be a white Toyota Sienna.  She described the woman driving it as being white but very tan, wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.

Parents of students at Ellisville Elementary were alerted to the situation Wednesday afternoon in a letter from the principal.

Police say one of the stranger things about this case is that the suspect is a woman.

"It does seem unusual but there are all kinds of people out there with all kinds of weird desires that we just don`t understand," Corless said.

The mother of the girl thanks the Rockwood Schools for doing a good job educating kids about the dangers of talking to strangers.

"I think for children growing up in this day and age, this is their world and we teach them to be careful and we teach them what to do what not to do what to say and we are just glad they are listening and those lessons are paying off," said Rockwood School District spokesperson Kim Cranston.

Along with notifying parents at Ellisville Elementary, police are also warning parents from nearby Ridge Meadows Elementary, St. John Lutheran and St. Clare of Assisi to be vigilant.

The mother of the girl approached by the stranger in this case says she is grateful her daughter knew what to do.

"I have three daughters and sometimes this world is an ugly place," she said.

"It makes you worried and paranoid as a parent."

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