NOCATEE, Fla. - The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a father of two girls told deputies a man in a pickup truck approached one of his daughters Monday and told her to get in his truck.
The father of the two girls, ages 5 and 11, told deputies his daughters were playing with other friends when the younger girl was approached by a man driving a white pickup truck just after 4 p.m. in a Nocatee subdivision called Austin Park.
The man asked the girl if she was lost and then told her to get into his truck and he would help her find her way home. The girl's older sister then grabbed the younger girl by the arm and they ran to a friend's home.
"This individual did not exit the vehicle, did not approach the children, just was simply trying to coax the child to the vehicle," said Sgt. Chuck Mulligan, of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. "We don't have enough to say that this wasn't definitely an abduction-type attempt, but we are going to follow it through until we get all the answers on this case."
The vehicle was described as a white pickup truck with some type of work equipment in the bed. Deputies searching the neighborhood did not find the truck or anyone else who witnessed the incident.
"It's scary, it's absurd," said Lee Dokos, a concerned Nocatee parent. "You never know."
Mulligan said the girls did the right thing, and this is a good time for parents to remind their children what to do in a similar situation.
"Know where your children are, have a plan in place if something like this should occur," he said.
Deputies said the case is being taken seriously and is actively being investigated. It is unknown what the intentions of the driver were, but deputies are seeking to identify and speak with him.
Anyone who may have witnessed any information relating to the driver or vehicle described is asked to contact Detective Shannon Andrews of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office at 904-209-3998.
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