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Indy mom warns about attempted kidnapping on southwest side

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis mother is warning other parents after she says her daughter was almost kidnapped on the city’s southwest side on Saturday.

Her 9-year-old daughter was approached in the 600 block of South Auburn Street near Rhoades Elementary School.

Carissa Holt says she’s still shaken up by what happened to her daughter.

The 3rd grader was riding her bike home from her grandmother’s house down the street. Her uncle and younger sister decided to drive back while she followed behind. The girl was about a block away from home when she says someone was following her.

“It’s terrifying to think what could have happened,” said Carissa Holt, mother. “It makes me sick to my stomach.”

Holt describes it like something out of a movie.

“She was on her bicycle and she came riding up and said, this man just tried to get me into his van,” said Holt. “I said who did?”

She says she couldn’t believe what her daughter was telling her.

“He talked funny. He was missing a lot of teeth and he told me, ‘I got candy in my van. Is that your real hair?’”

The 3rd grader told her mom that she ignored the man and tried to hurry home.

“When she got two doors down from my house, he pulled into the driveway to try to cut her path off,” said Holt. “She saw one of her friends, she yelled their name and he took off.”

Holt says she immediately filed a police report.

“I don’t think that she realizes the consequences of what would have happened if she would have gotten close enough to him for him to grab her,” said Holt.

“I asked her if she’s ever seen him before and she told me yes, he drives up and down our street when she’s coming home from school,” said Holt.

The Indianapolis mother is hoping to get the word out there to other parents in the neighborhood so that something like this won’t happen again.

According to the report, the suspect is described as someone believed to be in his 50s with dark complexion, bald and had missing teeth.

The suspect’s car is described as a late 80s to early 90s white colored mini van with gray primer around the bottom.

Witnesses say you can hear a loud muffler and that a strawberry air freshener is hanging from the mirror.

“We need to stick together as a community to get these people and keep them away from our children,” said Holt.

Holt tells 24-Hour News 8 she brought the incident to the attention of school officials at Rhoades Elementary.

The principal told her they’re going to send out an email to staff members to let them know about what happened and to keep an eye out for anyone suspicious.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Holt did the right thing in this case to file a report. If you see or hear anything suspicious in your neighborhood you’re asked to call police.