WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department said a possible attempted abduction at a school bus was actually a misunderstanding and the suspect has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, the Wilmington Police Department asked for the public’s help to identify a man in a picture who was accused of trying to abduct an 8-year-old girl at a bus stop earlier this month.
On Thursday morning, the WPD said after its call for information on the suspect, “a mother of another child who rides the same school bus came forward and explained to officers she asked her friend, the man pictured, to pick up her daughter from the bus, but failed to inform the child or the school he would be doing so. Both girls have similar names, causing him to inadvertently ask for the wrong child.”
According Jennifer Dandron, spokesperson for the WPD, police responded to the area of Sixth and Nixon streets around 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 after receiving a report about a possible kidnapping.
At a bus stop that preceded the child’s normal drop-off location, the suspect asked for the child by name. Neither the bus driver nor the bus monitor recognized the man and asked the girl if she knew him.
After the girl told them she did not, the bus driver did not allow her to get off the bus until they reached her usual drop off location.
“While we’re grateful that this was not an attempted abduction, we want to use this opportunity to remind the public of the importance of clear communication,” WPD said in Thursday’s statement. “We commend the bus driver for not allowing the child off with someone she did not know. Please make sure your children and the proper authorities are aware of any changes to your normal routines.”