Officers combed the county Saturday in hopes of finding the man who might have attempted to abduct young girls in Elkin and Pilot Mountain Thursday.
Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson said officers in uniforms and plain clothes tried to visit every youth ball game that they knew of in the county on Saturday and even checked some empty venues. They went around talking to people and asked if they had seen anything relevant to the case. Atkinson said they asked parents to keep one eye on the game and one on their surroundings to watch out for anything suspicious.
They also checked parking lots at the games for any vehicles matching the description given to police. The man officers are searching for was originally reported to have an N.C. State Wolfpack sticker on the back of his white van, but officers now believe after interviewing a witness in Elkin that the vehicle instead had a sticker depicting a stick figure of a dog with the letters “NC” on the back glass and a sticker of a teddy bear on the side glass.
Atkinson said law enforcement has received a lot of calls in reference to the incidents since Friday when word started spreading. He said, “We’re making headway on it.”
Thanks to information provided by the public, officers have been able to rule out a lot of people that they were considering with the case. Atkinson said finding out who is not responsible can lead officers to who is, it’s just slow going.
According to reports, an 11-year-old girl was inappropriately approached by a man in downtown Pilot Mountain on Thursday afternoon around 4:40 p.m. The incident occurred on Davis Street at East Main Street when the girl was getting a drink out of a vending machine. An older man with gray hair and a gray beard or goatee reportedly pulled up to the intersection in a white car, rolled his window down, held up a pair of underwear and asked the girl if she wanted to try them on. The girl ran into a nearby business.
Officers in Elkin received a report that a man with a similar description attempted to abduct a 7-year-old girl at Elkin Municipal Park between 4:30 and 7:15 p.m. that same night. He reportedly had been watching children from the park gazebo before approaching the girl, picking her up and saying she needed to come with him. The girl and a friend were able to fend him off, and the man left in a white van. A woman who might have been in her late 40s or early 50s wearing silver-rimmed glasses was also spotted with the man. On Friday night, the sheriff’s office released a police sketch of what the man and woman may look like.
Officers from each local municipality, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Office are investigating the case. As of mid-afternoon on Saturday, officers had not reported any significant leads. Anyone with information can still call Surry County Communications at 374-3000.
Contact Meghann Evans at 719-1952 or firstname.lastname@example.org.