Police are searching for a man who attempted to grab a young girl walking on Dunn Lake Road close to the fairgrounds in Barriere at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22.
Barriere RCMP Corporal Rob Welsman reported, “The man has been described as approximately 40 years of age, 5’ 7” with hazel eyes, brown short hair and a brown full beard approximately four inches or more in length shaped to a point at the end. He was wearing a grey long sleeve shirt with black lettering and black pants.”
He also noted, “The beard was initially believed to be salt and pepper but it is now believed that it was actually brown.”
As police searched the community, residents were asked to avoid creating any foot traffic in the area as a police tracking dog conducted a search.
The Friday night ‘Teen Scene’ youth group event at the Barriere Ridge was cancelled, and police requested no foot traffic in the area.
An update from police that evening stated, “Barriere RCMP are investigating this apparent abduction attempt of a 10-year-old child that occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m on Nov. 22, in the area of Barriere Town Road and Dunn Lake Road in Barriere. Police report the child was walking on Dunn Lake Road when reportedly approached by an unknown man.
“The man allegedly grabbed the child by the wrist and she fought back, freeing herself and then ran off,” stated Cpl. Rob Welsman of Barriere RCMP. “A police service dog was brought to the scene to search for the suspect and officers have spoken with local residents regarding the incident.”
At this time the location and identity of the male subject is unknown.
Parents are encouraged to discuss safety protocols with their children and closely monitor their actions as RCMP continue their investigation.
Anyone in the area with video surveillance or dashboard camera footage are asked to contact the Barriere RCMP.
Any urgent information regarding the identity or current whereabouts of the suspect should be made via 911.
Some youth events in the area were cancelled at the discretion of their organizers. School District officials were notified of the incident and are working closely with investigators.
As of Monday, Nov. 25, the Barriere RCMP Detachment confirmed that the investigation into this incident remains active and ongoing at this time. Police have canvassed local residents and conducted follow ups. They are asking anyone who was traveling north on Dunn Lake Road on Friday, Nov. 22, between the hours of 3:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to please contact police.
“Thankfully the youth was not physically harmed during this encounter,” stated RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, “Barriere RCMP is praising the brave young girl, for taking the appropriate steps in the situation she was suddenly faced with, by taking action to free herself and seek out immediate help. Police have received tip information from the public, which will be immediately followed up on by our investigators, who are considering all possible investigative avenues available to them.”
The Barriere RCMP are asking the public to remain extra vigilant and ask anyone with any information to contact police at 250-672-9918 if they have any information.
UPDATED Wednesday, November 27, 2019
The police investigation into this alleged attempted child abduction incident continues, and Barriere RCMP have released a composite sketch of a man they hope the public can aid them in identifying.
“Our investigators are turning to the public in an effort to further advance their ongoing investigation,” said Cpl. Rob Welsman of the Barriere RCMP Detachment. “Since the incident, a specially trained forensic artist met with the victim in order to create a composite sketch of the unknown man.”
The unknown man depicted in the composite drawing has been described to police as approximately 40 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches tall with hazel eyes, brown short hair and a brown full beard approximately 4 inches or more in length shaped to a point at the end.
If you can identify the adult male depicted in the forensic sketch, or you have any additional information that may be of assistance to investigators, please contact the Barriere RCMP non-emergency line at 250-672-9918. Or remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.