Abduction scare in Sylvan Lake a 'non-event,' according to RCMP

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
May 16, 2018 - 11:11am Updated: May 16, 2018 - 2:35pm

A Sylvan Lake mother is just thankful her daughter is safe after what she believes was an attempted abduction.

Spencer Rose says she was inside her house just after 5 p.m. on Monday (May 14) while her nine-year-old daughter was playing in the front yard.

That’s when two people dressed in black – one pushing the other in a wheelchair – approached the girl and, according to Rose, asked her if she would go with them to a “special place downtown” or to a “different town.”

The girl told them no and ran inside to tell her mom. Rose then obtained surveillance footage from a neighbour and what they saw perplexed them both.

“I think the most shocking part was that no one saw them in broad daylight. When we saw the security footage, we were shocked because it was unbelievable how they were able to walk down the main road and nobody saw them," Rose said.

The incident happened in the Pierview area near Steffie Woima Elementary School. Rose’s daughter attends the school but has refused to do so since Monday’s events.

Sylvan Lake RCMP tell rdnewsNOW they consider the incident a “non-event” after tips from the public helped identify the couple as an elderly pair who have lived in the community for a long time.

Staff Sergeant Andrew Shepherd says they’ve been in touch with the man who spoke to the girl and that their stories line up, except for what was said between them. Shepherd says the man told RCMP he only asked the girl if she needed help with something.

“Most of our officers have seen them around town, and not in a criminal context,” Shepherd says about the couple in question. “We're satisfied that there's no danger to that girl, there never was, and there's no risk to the public at this time resulting from this incident.”

Shepherd adds the girl did the right thing by running away from the strangers, but refused to comment on whose version of Monday’s incident they believe.

Rose says there’s a lesson to be learned here, other than being versed in ‘stranger danger.’

“A male's age doesn’t exempt them from doing bad things or trying to do things to kids. The fact that he lied to the officer about what he said to my daughter speaks volumes to me,” she says. “I’m not really sure what to think. So while I’m going to believe my child, I’m also going to trust the police are going to keep her safe if there is an issue, hopefully.”

Rose, who only moved to the area less than two months ago, has explained to her daughter what Mounties have concluded, and says the girl is only more upset because she feels like the RCMP don’t believe her.

“My child, right from the get-go, told me what was said and never changed her story. As a parent though, I think it’s still good that people are notified that he has approached her and said that, just so they can keep their eyes open.

“Not to say they’re horrible people, because I don’t honestly know, but when you ask a little girl to go somewhere, your intentions are not right. Even the retired RCMP member on my block and all my neighbours have never seen them.”

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