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Sketch released, search continues for man who tried to kidnap 8-year-old girl in Oak Harbor

A police sketch of a man who allegedly tried to abduct a girl outside her Oak Harbor home. - Island County Sheriff
A police sketch of a man who allegedly tried to abduct a girl outside her Oak Harbor home.
— image credit: Island County Sheriff's Office

Deputies are searching for a man who tried to abduct an 8-year-old girl in the front yard of her Oak Harbor home Sunday night.

Lt. Mike Hawley with the Island County Sheriff's Office said he has no doubt that the alarming incident occurred and that, based on the profile of child abductors, it's likely that the man will try again someday.

"The details from the victim were so specific, clear and unchanging," he said, describing the girl as very bright and articulate.

The girl described the man to the sketch artist for the sheriff's office.

Hawley explained that the entire family was in the backyard of the Hemenway Place home Sunday. The girl was playing with other kids when a ball flew over the fence and into the front yard.

As the girl went to the front of the house to retrieve the ball, a man driving a red car stopped in the street. He walked into the yard, touched the girl's hair and told her to get into his car.

The frightened girl bolted to the backyard and told her parents.

"She was trembling and had trouble speaking at first," Hawley said.

The kidnapping attempt occurred at about 7:45 p.m. The home where it happened is a half a block outside the city limits on the west side of Oak Harbor.

Hawley said the brave little girl was able to provide a very good description of the man.

The man is described as a 25- to 35-year-old white male, with medium build and about 6 feet tall. He had a short goatee without a mustache, and brown hair with dyed streaks. He was wearing sunglasses.

The suspect was wearing jeans, black flip flops and a distinctive black T-shirt with a "pirate style" gray skull and cross bones, according to Hawley.

The man's vehicle was a dark red or burgundy, newer, mid-sized, four-door sedan. The car sped off down Airline Way.

Hawley said that based on the generalized profile of the people who commit these types of crimes, the suspect isn't likely to have a criminal history and may live in the area or even the neighborhood.

"He would seem normal," Hawley said. "He may be the type of individual who people would be shocked to discover did something like this."

Hawley urges anyone with any information about the incident or knows someone who fits the description to call 911 or contact him via ICOM dispatch at 360-679-9567.

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