“Attempted abduction” in Vanderhoof a false alarm

Staff Sgt. Dave Beach of the Vanderhoof RCMP was helping to clear up concerns for parents in the area recently.

Ruth Lloyd

Caledonia Courier

“It went viral.”

Staff Sgt. Dave Beach of the Vanderhoof RCMP was helping to clear up concerns for parents in the area recently.

Thanks to social media, area sensitization and small-town gossip, a report by a nine-year-old girl in Vanderhoof describing a blue van following her went viral in area communities, but turned out to be nothing more than hyper-sensitivity.

On April 17, the young girl was walking along the street and felt like a blue van was following along behind her, which she then told her mother.

The incident was reported to the police, who subsequently investigated the incident.

The young girl gave a description which raised alarms amongst many, the incident was linked to a previous report in Fort St. James over a month ago when a young man driving a blue sedan with dice in the mirror and flowered seat covers stopped to talk to a young person on the street.

The school board then reportedly sent out a letter and a description after the incident which circulated to area schools before the RCMP had finished their investigation.

“At the end of the day it did not amount to anything,” said Beach. “It was taken out of context.”

But because the description had circulated so widely, children and parents were on the lookout for anything matching this description.

So when a nine-year-old described a blue-coloured van with dice hanging from the mirror and flowered seat covers seemingly following her, her parents were understandably concerned.

“We’re talking about two totally different vehicles,” said Beach, who also said there was no attempted abduction and there is no reason to believe the vehicle was even necessarily following the girl and not reading addresses or some other innocent driving-related activity.

“It’s not what it was reported as,” said Beach.

Beach said it is good people are so aware in some ways, and it is understandable given the community history of incidents in the area such as Madison Scott and Loren Leslie.

“Even the kids are really sensitized,” said Beach.

He said the RCMP have the responsibility to get to the bottom of every report of this kind.

The communities in the area can at least knock this incident off the list as one they shouldn’t worry about.

“We don’t have a concern with this instance.”

 

Just Posted

New book about Vanderhoof’s past will be on shelves this spring

Nechako Valley Historical Society is finishing up the book that has involved the whole community

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read