Deputies in Lincoln County are investigating the attempted child abduction of a 22-month-old boy. It happened just before noon on Sunday morning in the small town of Sprague.
Lincoln County Undersheriff Kelly Watkins told says “It looks to me that this is a random act of trying to abduct a little boy. We don’t want to instill fear in to anyone, but at the same time they need to be aware.”
Two pieces of surveillance video show the suspect in the park. One of the videos shows the man running down the sidewalk with the boy in his hands. Giving chase behind the suspect is the child’s 10-year-old brother and 8-year-old sister. Deputies say there is no one they have talked with who knew the man. The three kids were staying at a babysitter’s home in Sprague. Their parents were out of town and deputies say they were left unattended at the park.
“The nice thing about a little town,” says witness Gary Giddings, “is that this just doesn’t happen. But it did.”
Giddings and his wife Dorothy run an antique shop a block away from the park. They saw the man running, and heard the 8-year-old girl screaming for help. “The little girl met me. I’m holding her and she says, ‘He went that way, he went that way,'” Dorothy Giddings says.
One of Giddings’ grandsons also chased after the man before he dropped the boy two blocks from the park. “So he got up and he was crying and he ran towards his sister.” After calling 911, deputies arrived but the man who they say took the boy was nowhere to be found. “In this case it just happened, that God and His wisdom planted me at a place I normally am not on a Sunday,” Dorothy Giddings says.
The 22-month-old boy is back at home safe after what his mother describes as a traumatic experience. “I’m still distraught. I can’t really fathom this,” Nicole Wright says.
Wright’s three kids, ages 10, 8 and 22 months, were all at the park that day together. “I’m glad he’s here now. All day Sunday I did not want to let him go,” Wright says. Wright says the babysitter was a trusted family friend. She adds that she’s not angry, but is very happy her son is back home safe. “It could have been so much worse.”
If you have any information or recognize the man in the surveillance photos and video comment here or contact the Lincoln County Sheriff at 509-725-9261.