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Woman charged with attempted child abduction, assault in Ste. Genevieve

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STE. GENEVIEVE, MO (KTVI)- A Perryville, MO woman is accused of trying to kidnap three girls in Ste. Genevieve. Cynthia Wofford, 53, is charged with attempted child abduction, assault, child endangerment, and harassment.

On Sunday afternoon, October 11, police say Wofford drove her Dodge Ram onto a sidewalk and blocked the way of three girls, two sisters and a friend, who were walking home along Highway M, nearly hitting them.  One of the girls told police that Wofford told them, “You guys need to trust me. I just got out of church in Tennessee. I'm a preacher."

The girls said Woffard went on to make strange remarks and ask questions that made them feel uncomfortable.  One of the girls stated that Wofford told them that three girls who looked exactly like they did, died at the exact spot where the girls were standing several years back. She went on to tell them to always stick together if they were threatened.

An open-house was being held at a nearby business and a man, who knew the girls, saw Woffard talking with them. He found it suspicious and began to walk over. That’s when Woffard drove away.

The bystander told to girls to go home. They ran to the home of the sisters and told their father that a woman in a blue truck was trying to take them. While they were talking, they saw Wofford’s truck in front of their house.  The father confronted Wofford, who said she was lost. When he threatened to call the police, she drove off with him still standing on the running board. He was able to jump off to safety.

Police were called and an officer spotted the truck on Route M at Route J and Route N. He attempted to pull her over, but she kept driving for a while before stopping at the Ozora Truck and Travel Center on New Bremen Road.

She agreed to be interviewed by police and to have her truck searched.  Police found a utility knife, plastic tarps, shovels, duct tape, and other tools in Wofford's truck.

During an interview with Ste. Genevieve police, Wofford alluded to wanting to educate the girls about safety and child abductions.

Police say Wofford also told the girls about Gina Dawn Brooks.  The Fredericktown girl has been missing since 1989.  Police are now looking into whether Wofford has any connection to that case.

“I have contacted the F.B.I. and members of the Fredericktown Police Department, and we’re certainly going to explore all of those avenues,” said Ste. Genevieve Police Chief Eric Bennett.

Wofford is jailed on a $50,000 bond.