Skip to main content

A 'sigh of relief': The report of a man trying to abduct a girl at a park was false

"The Cannon Falls Police Department wants to assure our citizens that we take these reports very seriously," the update says in part.

A "sigh of relief," as one local police department put it, for a community in southeastern Minnesota looking for the man who tried to snatch a young girl from a park.

Police initially said the man grabbed a 10-year-old girl and carried her while running across Lower Hannah's Bend Park in Cannon Falls Sunday afternoon. The girl was able to get away when he put her down to catch his breath.

But the City of Cannon Falls issued an update late Wednesday saying the attempted abduction "did not occur."

During another interview later, the victim acknowledged to police the abduction attempt did not happen.

"There was a tremendous outpouring of compassion from our community and the Cannon Falls Police Department asks people to not lose that compassion," the update says. "It's important to remember that there is still a 10-year-old girl that we want to avoid having traumatized further because of what happened."

The department also encourages parents to use the report to talk about incidents like this with their children, and to develop a safety plan with them.

How the investigation unfolded

In the update, police say the incident was first reported as an assault.

The next day (Monday afternoon), investigators were told it had actually been an attempted abduction. And Tuesday morning, they decided they needed the public's help finding the suspect, so put out the alert. Only to find out later it was false.

"The Cannon Falls Police Department wants to assure our citizens that we take these reports very seriously and have procedures in place for both the investigation of such an incident and also the public notification process," Wednesday's update reads.

They also thanked the public for all the tips that helped move things along.

More on child abductions

It is less common for a child to be abducted by a total stranger, according to Parents.com.

Studies have found that in child abduction cases, almost half (49 percent) are carried out by a relative of the victim, known as a “family kidnapping,” while 27 percent are carried out by acquaintances of the victim.

The remaining 24 percent of kidnappings are carried out by strangers, and tend to see more females victimized than males, primarily occurring at outdoor locations. It’s also the type of kidnapping most likely to involve a gun.

According to Forensic Psych, 95 percent of stranger abductions are carried out by men.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children assisted law enforcement with more than 13,700 cases of missing children nationwide last year – 86 percent of them were endangered runaways (about one in five runaways are victims of child sex trafficking), while only 1 percent were non-family abductions.

Next Up

4303450641_ec7536c6ea_k

Three new Grandstand shows added for Minnesota State Fair 2022

The Beach Boys and Portugal. The Man are among several acts booked.

St. Louis County

St. Louis County set to declare state of emergency ahead of peak flood levels

Volunteers are urgently needed for sandbagging efforts in a small community near Voyageurs National Park.

Screen Shot 2022-05-16 at 5.03.30 PM

Brothers Bar & Grill closes in downtown Minneapolis

The Midwest chain closed its St. Cloud location in 2018.

Ken Jeong

Licensed physician Ken Jeong to do standup in MN this September

The licensed physician will take the stage at Treasure Island Resort and Casino on Sept. 30.

Osseo Police Department

Osseo PD says officer did not pursue suspect who caused fatal crash

The crash happened in Brooklyn Park early Sunday morning.

221 Main Street. E. Albert Lea

Suspect arrested after 3 family members stabbed in Albert Lea

The three victims are related, according to police.

wastewater

Evidence that omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5 are in Minnesota

The European CDC has warned of a possible significant summer surge fueled by the omicron subvariants.

driving unsplash - crop

Hastings man charged for driving drunk with 2-year-old in vehicle

Matthew Quade's BAC was almost five times over the legal limit when police pulled him over last week.

police lights

Arrest made after person shot at Hopkins apartment building

Police say this was an isolated incident and that the victim and suspect knew each other.

Related

Police looking for man who tried to abduct 10-year-old girl from SE MN park

The girl was able to get away when he put her down to catch his breath.

Man wanted in kidnapping, torture of MN teen arrested 1,700 miles away

The victim was found seriously injured, with the word "snitch" carved into his chest.

Charges: Man sexually assaulted teen, tried to secretly record girl

Charges against the girls' mother say she didn't take steps to prevent abuse.

Video shows a man briefly pull a gun in a parking lot dispute

The video has been shared more than 12,000 times. Police in the Twin Cities are investigating.

Flickr - squad car lights night

Plymouth police: Man grabs 7-year-old girl, tries to run off with her

The incident happened July 7, and police are still searching for a suspect.

Update: Park Rapids back to normal after explosives scare

People should not go near the area to "gawk," authorities said.

Update: 13-year-old Rochester girl found safe

She was reported missing last week.