Kidnapping investigation suspended after no child appears to be missing

by: Carl Willis Updated:

DALTON, Ga.,None - Dalton police officers rushed to a school bus stop Thursday morning after a report of a possible kidnapping. 

The investigation at W. Matilda St. and Cotton St. remained a mystery into the night. 

Police said it was just before 8 a.m. when a 10-year-old girl reported seeing a boy taken away in a gold or tan-colored SUV.

"Then, in just a minute there were cops coming from everywhere," said neighbor Lisa Hemphill.

The Dalton Police Department, Georgia State Patrol, Whitfield County Sheriff's Office, the probation department and the GBI all had resources on the ground.

"This may seem like overkill when you don't have a report of a missing child, but we would rather do too much than do too little," said Bruce  Frazier with Dalton Police Dept.

In just a little over three hours, police said they had all of the children in the Dalton Public Schools accounted for.

 

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They canvassed the neighborhood and found that no children were missing. 

Still, they stayed in place until school buses dropped children back in the neighborhood.

"Until we can really tie up every loose end and be 100 percent sure that we don't have anyone out there in need, we're going to be out here," Frazier said.

Investigators later found that none of the children who rode the bus saw the incident. 

Police said they had no reason to doubt the little girl's report. 

They said they just need to know exactly what happened, especially after the slaying of 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera. 

"Everybody in law enforcement knows what happened in Canton," Frazier said. "The reaction is the same, but obviously that's fresh in everyone's mind." 

Hemphill said the girl who made the report did the right thing when she spoke up.

"It was good she knew what to do and they acted real quick to get here," she said. "Because I'm telling you, it was just minutes."

Police wrapped the incident command post just after 4 p.m. They said they would only resume the operation if they receive a missing person report.