AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora Police Department (APD) is investigating two attempted kidnapping cases involving two children.
On Jan. 5, a man attempted to snatch a 10-year-old girl at 1:30 p.m. near South Quintero Way and South Richfield Street. Exactly one week later, on Jan. 12, a man attempted to abduct a 12-year-old boy around 6:30 p.m. from Mission Viejo Park. APD Officer Matthew Longshore said detectives are investigating to determine if the cases are related.
“There is no evidence right now that shows they are the same person, but is it’s definitely something that we will look into,” Longshore said.
On Wednesday, the park was buzzing with people enjoying the day and kids playing. Abigayle Hanger was out walking her two dogs. She’s lived across the park for the last six years. She said she usually walks her dogs alone before the sun rises.
“Usually early in the morning when it’s dark out,” Hanger said.
She wasn’t aware there had been an attempted kidnapping in her neighborhood just the day before.
“I actually live with an 11-year-old, so that is pretty scary,” Hanger said.
Longshore is asking parents and kids to be vigilant.
“In these instances, both kids were alone playing outside,” Longshore said.
The locations of the two attempted kidnappings are within blocks of each other.
The suspect involved in the first attempted kidnapping on Jan. 5 is described as a white man wearing a black ski mask and a red and black flannel shirt with jeans, according to APD. The suspect in the second attempt is described as a bald man with a dark beard. The victim told police it’s possible he has tattoos on his arms.
Longshore is recommending that kids play in small groups and near their home. He also advises parents make sure their kids know how to fight off strangers and call for help.
“Yell, to kick, to punch, to elbow, to bite, whatever you can do to get away from this person as quickly as you can,” Longshore said.
For more tips on keeping your kids safe, visit Kid Smartz. It's a child safety program that helps educate families to help prevent abductions.
Abigayle plans to look into purchasing pepper spray or a taser to protect herself while walking her dogs.
APD is asking anyone who lives in the area where the attempted kidnapping happened to check their surveillance cameras. If you believe you have evidence related to the attempted abductions, they’re asking you to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
The man or men involved in these cases could face attempted kidnapping charges.