Parents on edge after attempted kidnappings

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by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and JESSICA VESS / KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas -- The search for a suspected child predator continues in Pflugerville.

Police say a man tried to kidnap two young girls on their way to Murchison Elementary School Wednesday morning. On Thursday, parents were taking extra precautions.

“There [are] a lot of sick people in this world and it's just uncalled for. There's no reason for people to come after little kids,” said Murchison Elementary School parent James Murray.

Murray and many other parents drove their children to school on Thursday. Police also sent out numerous patrol units to circle the campus in the hours leading up to the first bell.

“Last night it was a little bit hard for me to go to sleep because we didn't know where he was or anything,” said  Murchison Elementary School fifth grader Lily Galer. 

The line of cars at the parent drop-off stacked up. A number of parents even parked and walked their children through the front door.
 
“You feel disgusted. You worry about your kids all day, every day. You can't be with them all the time, you know at school is one of the safest places they're supposed to be at,” said Murray. “You try to put it to the back of your mind but worry is always there.”
 
Police released a description of the man they’re looking for. He’s described as a white man with red or brown hair and a beard or goatee. He’s slender and may have blue eyes.
 
Thursday day police released a new sketch showing what he might look like if he shaved off his goatee.
 
Police believe he's the same man behind four separate attempted kidnappings. Each time officers say the man targeted young girls between eight and 11 years old near Murchison Elementary School.
 
The cases all happened within the past two and a half months, but many parents weren’t aware of the danger until Wednesday’s attack.
 
“It's just fearful, you know, especially not to know that it happened three other times and only finding out [Wednesday] night that it had happened three other times,” said Murchison parent Andrea Olivarez. “[We’re] sending our kids home, you know, walking from school and walking to school. It's scary.”
 
Police believe the man is getting more aggressive. Yesterday he tried to grab one of the girls. When she screamed, he put his hand over her mouth. The girls got away. They ran to school and told the principal what happened.
 
The Pflugerville School District posted a message to parents online asking them to remind their kids about safety measures.
 
“You just tell them, you know, that they have to learn what we've taught them. You know, don't talk to strangers and if somebody tries to talk to you or you know try to hurt you, you just run, you scream and you kick,” said Olivarez.
 
Pflugerville police are going through databases for all registered sex offenders in the area. They are also getting help from the Texas Rangers. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

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