Law enforcement dispel claims on social media about attempted child abductions

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 2:20 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Social media has been abuzz recently over claims of attempted child abductions in several neighborhoods in the Wilmington area. However, law enforcement officials maintain there is simply no evidence of any such crimes and attribute it to rumors spreading online.

At least one of the posts that has been circulating on Facebook claims the attempted abductions happened in Sunset Park, Winter Park, and Long Leaf Park. The post also claims the attempted abductions were the result of a “new human trafficking ring with the cartel” operating in the Cape Fear region and that they are “very prevalent right now.”

These claims were enough for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to post on Facebook Thursday that it “has taken no reports or received any information of anyone being kidnapped from any park including Long Leaf Park.”

The post continued: “Unfortunately there is information spreading on social media that is incorrect we hope this clarifies the information.”

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has taken no reports or received any information of anyone being kidnapped from...

Posted by New Hanover County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 22, 2021

A spokesperson for the Wilmington Police Department confirmed earlier this week that the agency was investigating but there has been no evidence that any attempted abductions took place.

Lt. Leslie Irving with the WPD public information office issued this statement on Facebook Friday afternoon to address the rumors:

On Sunday, July 18th, 2021, Wilmington Police Department received one report of an attempted kidnapping. After an extensive investigation detectives were unable to confirm that the attempted kidnapping did actually occur. We want to ease the public’s fears and rumors concerning the allegations. We want to reiterate that there was only one report of an attempted kidnapping that occurred in the City of Wilmington that was reported to authorities.

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