FRESNO, Calif. - Better safe than sorry is the message from Chief Jerry Dyer after close to a hundred officers respond to a possible child abduction. But late Tuesday night, Dyer announced the evidence doesn't support a kidnapping.
Just before 3 P.M. police responded to calls on a possible abduction at East Shepherd and North Cedar. Chief Dyer calls it good police work. Authorities did not receive one call from parents on a missing child but information from witnesses caused FPD to take action quickly.
The eye in the sky was a helicopter above Northeast Fresno, followed by about 60 police officers, K-9 and the FBI searching for a missing girl.
"We do not have evidence that would support any type of a child abduction occurring today," said Chief Jerry Dyer.
The final update from Dyer hours after two teen girls told police they saw a young girl taken by an African American or Hispanic man. Dyer says a woman and the teens drove by in a van on Shepherd Avenue where they say the girl left behind this purple Disney scooter before being kidnapped.
Authorities immediately closed down the shopping center to search for a suspect. Business owners provided investigators surveillance video. Video showing an adult woman pushing the same scooter with a bag of bottles Tuesday morning. Dyer says officers eventually found the woman at the nearby Dominion Courtyard apartments just after 7 P.M.
"We brought that female over to the location, showed her the scooter and in fact it was the one she had discarded on Sunday," said Dyer.
According to Dyer, the two witnesses gave conflicting information but workers at this shopping center told police they've seen a young girl matching the description of a Caucasian female with brown hair, riding a scooter in the area. Dyer says law enforcement's response to a possible child abduction covered all bases.
"We pulled out all stops to make sure that if in fact there was an abduction, that we were going to gather whatever evidence we could and search whatever areas we could to locate this young female," said Dyer.
Police checked the background of one of the witnesses. Dyer says he has reason to believe her information is less than credible. There is no word yet on the reprocussions.