Mom warns parents about suspicious encounter at highway rest stop
CINCINNATI (FOX19) - An Indiana mother is warning parents after she says her daughter was the target of a possible abduction attempt at a highway rest stop.
The warning has been shared nearly 63,000 times since being posted on Facebook Sunday. Police are aware of the now-viral post but noted that the incident did not involve any criminal activity, according to Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles.
The mother, Abby, and her kids stopped at a rest area on Interstate 74 near Batesville, Indiana Sunday afternoon, she wrote on Facebook. The family was traveling from the Cincinnati area to their home in Indiana.
While inside the rest stop bathroom, Abby and her daughter encountered a woman who "appeared to be on something" and tried to talk to the girl, the post read.
"We went to far end handicap stall and went in together. I heard the lady enter and she was talking to another lady about us heard her say "the little girl", I told my daughter we weren't washing hands and I was going to carry her out," Abby said.
With her daughter by her side, Abby ran back to their vehicle and noticed three men standing outside a nearby minivan with all the doors open.
Abby says she called 911 to report the strange encounter. Police told her they would review any surveillance footage at the rest stop.
Wheeles said he's received numerous inquiries about the woman's post. It appears nothing criminal took place and the encounter could rise to a suspicious person investigation, he said.
"We have not been able to identify the suspicious people and have not determined that they were going to do what the person who posted this is claiming," Wheeles said in an email Tuesday.
Abby ended her post by saying she feared her daughter could have been taken from her.
"It's a terrifying world we are living in," she said. "I wanted to share to try to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings, hold on to your children and stay off your phones so you are not distracted," she said.
You can read the full post below:
PSA: so we are driving home from Cincinnati and got off at a rest stop for a quick bathroom break. Just my daughter and I went inside (i didn't have my phone or purse on me). As we were walking in some lady who appeared to be on something, was trying to talk to my daughter, I held her hand the entire way in and walked swiftly ahead. As the lady was trying to talk to us she was also lighting a cigarette which she immediately extinguished upon us entering building. We went to far end handicap stall and went in together. I heard the lady enter and she was talking to another lady about us heard her say "the little girl", I told my daughter we weren't washing hands and I was going to carry her out. As we leave I passed both women and the one that I originally saw had changed clothes and started to leave after us leaving her bag on the floor of the stall she was in. The other lady with her was probably 6'. I then made a dead sprint to the car, threw my daughter in and locked doors. Once we were safely in car I noticed 3 men standing in front of a gold minivan with all the doors open...We called 911 and reported it and I have this terrible feeling that had I not been aware of my surroundings my daughter may have been taken from me. It is a terrifying world we are living in -- I wanted to share to try to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings, hold on to your children and stay off your phones so you are not distracted!!!
This was at a rest stop around mile marker 151 (Batesville) heading west on I -74
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