Lexington neighborhood on edge after two potential kidnappings - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Lexington neighborhood on edge after two potential kidnappings


Two suspicious interactions between two men and two young girls have people on Midway Street near Greenwood Drive in Lexington County on edge.

The most recent incident happened Thursday when a 9-year-old found a man waiting for her in her driveway. He chased her, but her quick thinking helped her find safety at a neighbor's home.

How'd this happen? Well, it started at a simple bus stop where the girl was dropped off following school. However, the girl still had a little bit of distance between herself and her home, so she began to walk.

Sandie Martin's children typically walk with the girl, but she walked alone Thursday.     

"This particular day, she walked by herself and then I'm very thankful she came here where somebody was, but it's very scary," said Martin. "This guy is still out there."

The guy, according to the girl, was staring at her while she was walking. She began to run, and the man got out of his car and began to pursue the child. She hopped over a fence and began banging on any door she could find.

Michelle Childress was at home when the child showed up at her front door. Childress dialed 911 and kept her calm, helping deputies to interview the girl.

"He would ask a questions and you could see her little body tense back up, and finally I got her to close her eyes and I said, 'Just remember, he's here and he's going to protect you and no one's going to hurt you,'" said Childress.

The girl told them the suspect was between 18 and 25 with brown hair, a mustache, and goatee. He drove a burgundy four-door car with tape on the window.  The incident had just as big of an effect on Childress who has grandchildren the same age as the child.

"After she left, I broke down and cried," said Childress. "I did. I just felt horrible because to feel that much fear from that age, no child should feel that. I had a lump in my throat that I had to push back. We needed all the information we could get from her."

We found Lexington County deputies riding through the neighborhood and all parents are keeping a closer eye on the bus stops.

"All the guys in the neighborhood were going to sit at the different bus stops to watch out," said Childress.

The Lexington County Sheriff's Department doesn't believe the two incidents are related, so they are searching for two different white men.

If you have any information on these cases, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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