AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Police were searching Tuesday for a man who
tried to kidnap an 8-year-old girl from her bedroom in the middle of the
night by slashing an outdoor screen and dragging her into an alley.
say the girl screamed for help early Monday morning and was able to get
away from the abductor just as her father ran outside to help her. The
father told police he saw the suspect speed away in the alley that runs
behind their house. Police Chief Dan Oates said the girl's loud struggle
to escape may have saved her life.
Oates said there is no
indication the family was targeted and police are treating the case as
an attempted stranger abduction, a rare crime. Investigators are
studying surveillance videos of businesses, searching sex offender
databases and checking on whether there have been any other similar
incidents elsewhere in the Denver area.
"We think there's a
predator out there. And he has to be caught, and he has to be stopped,"
Oates said in announcing a $10,000 reward for information leading to the
arrest and conviction of the suspect.
He said the girl talked to the man, but he wouldn't elaborate.
The girl's grandmother, Beatrice Padilla, told The Denver Post the
girl was doing homework in her bunk bed in a first-floor bedroom just
after midnight when the suspect entered and covered the girl's mouth
with his hand. She said another child was in the room but asleep at the
Oates said it is likely the suspect saw the light on and had been watching the girl.
The home is in a residential neighborhood just outside Denver made up of a mix of single-family dwellings and apartments.
suspect was described as a blond man wearing a black winter jacket with
a strong odor of cigarette smoke. The girl's father said he was driving
a silver or grey BMW sedan.
Neighbor Lawrence Chambers said the news was disturbing.
He said, "I want to tell my neighbors: Protect your kids."
KUSA 9 News reports that in addition to the $10,000 reward offered by police, Shortline Auto Group has offered up an additional $10,000 for information that could lead authorities to the suspect.
Aurora Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident or
has any information on this case to please call Detective Christine
Hurley at (303) 739-6113. You can also provide information on this case
and remain anonymous by calling CRIME STOPPERS at 720-913-STOP (7867).
You may also text your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) then use the title DMCS
and enter your message.