Police have released images of a person wanted in connected to an attempted kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl in central east Austin on Sept. 19, and now need your help finding him.
According to Austin police, the man approached the girl at the Booker T. Washington Apartment Complex around 8 p.m. Sept. 19 asking for help locating his lost dog. The victim went with the suspect to help him look, at which point he forced the victim into his vehicle.
According to the girl's mother, she was outside playing with her brother when the suspect approached her. The man drove off with the girl but stopped a few blocks away. That's when the girl apparently escaped and ran home.
"If I could go out and catch him in the streets, I would. I really hope they actually find him," the girl's mother told KVUE.
The kidnapper is described by police as between 5-feet 5-inches and 5-feet 8-inches tall, with a muscular build, short black hair with a bald spot and tattoos on his upper arm. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a white T-shirt, dark blue jean shorts and basketball shoes. His car was described as a four-door, white 2001-2006 Mercury Grand Marquis with a "trashy" interior, but police do not have a license plate.
"We're very fortunate that one, the child was able to free herself, and that two, we actually have surveillance, video surveillance of the suspect," said Austin Police Detective Eric Guevara.
He said these types of cases can be difficult to solve, but said they're lucky to have the suspect on camera.
"They are difficult, you know because we are dealing with children, and you know a young child to have to go through this is going to be traumatized and scared so, to obtain the detailed information required to successfully find this guy, it's going to be difficult just in those regards," said Guervara.
Police also released video of the man wanted in connection with the attempted kidnapping.
Police also encourage parents to talk to their children about not going with a stranger, without their permission.
"I always want to fall back to, parenting and discussing with your kids, not to, to not let it get to that point, so meaning, simply, do not talk to strangers, and definitely don't walk off with them without parental permission," said Guervara.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Austin Police Department Child Abuse Unit at 512-974-6880 or Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477.