Minneapolis police said Monday the abduction of a 7-year-old girl from her home earlier this month may be related to a previously unreported abduction of another child in October.
The cases are similar because the children who were abducted were about the same age; they were later released by their kidnappers; and both incidents occurred in the city's fourth precinct, Police Cmdr. Catherine Johnson said at a news conference Monday, according to MPR News.
Johnson did not release any other details about the October incident, and did not explain why that abduction was not reported to police.
Johnson said police are following up on a number of possible leads to try and identify the suspect or suspects in the two cases.
"We have received some valuable tips from the community and strongly encourage them to continue to report those tips to us," she said, according to MPR News.
In the Dec. 6 incident, police say the suspect approached the girl as she was playing with some friends outside a home on the 3100 block of James Avenue North, and asked her to help him look for a lost puppy. The girl left with the man, but was dropped off in the area a few hours later.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s, with a blotchy face. He was wearing a dark-colored jacket which had a gray or white stripe across the chest.
Police say he was driving a small or mid-size dark green car with four doors. The location where the girl was taken, presumably the suspect’s home, had two large dogs – one white and one black.
The police department will soon post fliers with photos of the suspect inside north side businesses and will distribute them to the community as well, according to WCCO.
Officials also said that fliers bearing an image of the suspect will be posted soon throughout north Minneapolis.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police department's tip line, 612-692-8477.