Update, August 1, 11:05 am: Child located
Wood Buffalo RCMP have located the male and child that were the subjects involved in the initial complaint of a possible child abduction that was reported to police yesterday afternoon. Late in the evening on July 31, 2012, police conducted interviews with the involved parties and determined that there was no imminent danger for the young girl at the park, nor any other child in the area. The RCMP have confirmed that the man and young girl are in fact family members.
The RCMP are very pleased to report that this incident had a happy ending, but are stressing that it very well could have been a dangerous situations that deserved high priority status, and as such numerous police resources were immediately deployed. Thanks in part to the large-scale response, and the great willingness of civilians to provide assistance, this investigation was wrapped-up in a matter of hours.
Any allegation of a potential child abduction would generate a very similar response from the police, and RCMP do not want the general public to shy away from making similar reports when concerns for safety are warranted. We all have a civic duty to one another to look out for each other. Be vigilant and report suspicious behaviour.
Background (Released at 21:46 hrs - 2012-07-31)
After an intense investigation involving many police resources, including Police Dog Services, Air Services, and over 50 police officers on the ground, RCMP can confirm that they do not believe a child was abducted this afternoon from the playground near St. Martha’s School. Specific details of the investigation are not available, however police have removed road blocks and traffic has resumed to normal volumes in the Timberlea area.
These types of allegations are taken very seriously and the Wood Buffalo RCMP would like to thank Municipal Bylaw Enforcement, Fort McMurray Search and Rescue, as well as the general public for their efforts and cooperation in this investigation, and providing assistance to police officers.
At approximately 4:30 pm this afternoon, Wood Buffalo RCMP received a report of a possible child abduction of a 3-5 year-old girl wearing a pink dress, from the play structure next to St. Martha’s School in the Timberlea area of Fort McMurray. The suspect is described as a Caucasian male, wearing beige camouflage, beige shorts and a baseball cap.
At this time investigators are attempting to confirm if an abduction occurred or if this may be a case of a child with a parent/guardian and are seeking the public’s assistance. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the alleged missing child and/or the suspect are asked to contact the Wood Buffalo Detachment. Police are also looking to speak with anyone who may have been in the vacinity of St. Martha’s School and/or the playground area later this afternoon.
As a result of this investigation, all major intersections in the Timberlea area are being monitored by police therefore severely impeding traffic flow. RCMP are asking motorists to be patients as the investigation continues. More information will be provided once it becomes available.
If you have information about this, or any other crime(s), please call the Wood Buffalo RCMP at (780) 788-4000, or if you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS), by internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers [www.crimestoppers.ab.ca] for instructions on how to do). You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers, and if you provide information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest(s), the recovery of stolen property, and/or a seizure of illicit drugs, you may be eligible for a cash reward.