Police: Girls recant abduction accusation in Mascoutah

Police say the man is in his mid-60s, with a white mustache and white hair.
Police say the man is in his mid-60s, with a white mustache and white hair.

Mascoutah police announced late Friday morning that a reported attempt to abduct two 11-year-old girls Thursday night was determined to be unfounded.

On Thursday night at about 9:50 p.m., the girls reported an older white male attempted to grab one of them as they walked in the area of North First Street and Church Street near St. John’s United Church of Christ Church, according to a statement issued by Mascoutah Police Chief Bruce Fleshren.

Officers conducted a neighborhood canvas and put out a radio broadcast of the suspect information, police said. The reported suspect was described as a man in his mid-60s with a white mustache and white hair. He was driving a silver Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck.

Officers continued to investigate, and on Friday morning were able to identify the described male, Fleshren said.

“After speaking with him and reviewing video at the church, it was determined that this incident was unfounded,” Fleshren said. “The police department continued to investigate the cause of the original report, and the two females later recanted their stories.”

The Mascoutah Police Department contacted the schools and media to help identify the man Friday morning to make parents aware of the situation as a precaution.

“It is unfortunate to go through all these steps and alarm people based on unfounded reports,” Fleshren said.

Police said the two girls will not be charged, and their names will not be released.

Mascoutah School District 19 sent a notification to parents at just after 7 a.m. Friday about the reported abduction attempt, which included a description of the man and his vehicle.

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