Girl told Arvada police she was approached by stranger at Memorial Park

Man followed girl while she was walking to school

ARVADA, Colo. - Arvada Police said they are investigating a report that a man followed a girl for a short time on Monday morning while she was walking to school.

The student told police the man approached her at 7:40 a.m. at Memorial Park.

The girl told officers that the man asked her to come over.

The girl told police that as she walked away, the man started following her.

The man is described as being about 30 years old and 6 feet tall with possibly a goatee. He was wearing a black hoodie and a green T-shirt.

"We will notify parents of these reports," Arvada Police posted on Facebook. "We do, however, want to caution citizens that while we will look into each report; each one is not suspect."

One person posted on the Arvada Police Facebook page that they did get a note from their grandchild's school about the incident.

Officers did not release any information about the girl's age or her school.

If you need help talking to your children or grandchildren about strangers, read this advice from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Jessica Ridgeway

The community is on alert for strangers because of the disappearance and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway in Westminster.

Ridgeway disappeared Oct. 5 as she was walking to meet up with friends at Chelsea Park so they could all walk to school together. The park is several blocks from her home. Her friends said she never showed up at the park and the school reported her absence to her mother that morning.

However, Jessica's mother, who had been  working the night shift, slept through the calls and didn't realize her daughter was missing until 4 p.m.

Hundreds of investigators are working the case, trying to find Jessica's killer.

Investigators are now working their way through nearly 4,000 tips and encourage anyone with any information to come forward. A tip from the community could break the case, authorities said.

FBI spokesman Dave Joly said the suspect could "be your boss, your friend" or a family member.

The FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit said that often, someone in the community will unknowingly be associated with the offender of the crime, and may be in a position to observe behavioral changes in that person.

They will recognize the changes, and may even question the person about it, but may not relate the changes to that person’s involvement in the crime. [Read the complete profile.]

Other Incidents In Arvada

Although police have said they don't believe a person is abducting children at random, they are aware of a case in which a white van approached children in Arvada on Oct. 4. In September, two other child enticement attempts were reported by Arvada police.

In the Oct. 4 incident, Malachi Martinez said a white van tried to get the attention of his children as they walked home from Lawrence Elementary.  Arvada Police confirmed the incident was reported.

"It felt like we were getting followed by the car," said Raina Camacho, a sixth-grader at Lawrence.

"We started running and the car turned around the other street and parked in front of us," said Camacho's sister, Sierra, a fifth-grader. "We went to the fire department, but we saw the fire truck  leaving. So we ran back to school. We told the principal what happened and she called the cops."

In the September incidents, the kids reported seeing a blue four-door sedan. 7NEWS has learned a third September report of a suspicious, slow-driving vehicle was never shared with the public because after two days of investigating it was found to be a misunderstanding.

"(A man's) dog had gotten out of the yard and he was driving around looking for his dog," said Arvada Police Department spokeswoman Jill McGranahan.

Print this article Back to Top