SPALDING: Parents on edge as deputies investigate three attempted child abductions


SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. – A scary situation is unfolding in Spalding County for parents as children head back to school Tuesday. Deputies are investigating three attempted child abductions.

Deputies issued a sketch of a woman on Friday. They said she could be behind several child abduction attempts. She is described as tall and blonde, with blue eyes.

Channel 2’s Rikki Klaus spoke with parents who are now keeping a closer eye on their children as deputies look for the woman.

“They want these people off the streets,” said parent Ashley Barnhouse. “Who wouldn’t be? Somebody’s coming up trying to snatch kids up left and right.”

Parents said they are terrified of what the woman might try to do next.

“I think the worst-case scenario, this could be tied into a sex trafficking ring,” said Spalding County Chief Deputy Tony Thomason.

The first attempted abduction happened several weeks ago. Deputies said she posed as a DFACS worker in the Runaway Lakes neighborhood. The second, last Tuesday, when investigators say pulled up to Orchard Hill Park in a minivan, wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

Deputies said she tried to abduct a child from the playground. A witness said she confronted the woman, who tried to hit her then ran and took off in her van.

“They can’t defend themselves, and it’s up to adults to do that for them. And so we take that responsibility very seriously,” Thomason said.

Deputies aren’t ruling out a possible connection to a third incident last week involving 11 and 12-year-old children playing in a yard on Baptist Camp Road.

Investigators said a heavyset man pulled up in a white box-style van and called out for the kids to come to him