Investigators raise questions after second alleged abduction attempt

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Investigators raised questions Tuesday about the reported attempted kidnapping of an elementary school student, after the same child reported a second kidnapping attempt.

Investigators with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office said the same boy reported someone tried to kidnap him early Tuesday afternoon.

In the latest incident, deputies said the boy told them a masked man grabbed him at an Academy Sports store in Hiram.

Deputies soon located the boy safely at a nearby Walmart.

Deputies told FOX 5’s Patty Pan surveillance video from the sporting goods store showed the boy walking out of the store by himself and then running across the parking lot towards the Walmart.

The report came as Paulding County investigators released new information about the first reported attempt, which took place on the evening of Jan. 24.

In the first case, investigators said Paulding E-911 received a call about an attempted abduction that allegedly occurred in the parking lot of the Breakthrough Martial Arts Center at 10 Sparks Drive in Hiram.

At the same time, another 911 call was placed from the UPS Store on the 5000 block of Jimmy Lee Smith Parkway in Hiram, stating that the boy who had allegedly been abducted had been located.

In a news release, deputies said the alleged abduction happened in the parking lot of the martial arts center as the boy and his mother were getting into their car.

Detectives said they have spoken with both the mother and the child, but received conflicting stories. 

Detectives have not been able to locate any video surveillance footage that shows the first incident occurring.

They did locate one witness who stated that they did not see the abduction attempt, but that they did see the boy run away from the area. 

According to the child, the male suspect is a white male with a beard who was wearing all black clothing. According to the mother, she never actually saw what the male looked like.   

In their news release, detective said there were also reports that a “Good Samaritan” foiled the attempted abduction but they have not been able to locate the Good Samaritan either. 

The principal of Powder Springs Elementary School in Cobb County, where the boy attends school, sent home a letter to parents warning them about the attempt.

The letter from the principal states “One of our students was the victim of an attempted kidnapping, thankfully a Good Samaritan witnessed the event and helped stop the abduction."

The principal says the incident did not happen on campus.

Powder Springs Police released their own statement Tuesday, stressing the first reported incident did not take place in Powder Springs or Cobb County.

In his letter to parents, the principal wrote: "We are doing everything in our power to help the student and his family as they struggle through the emotional fallout."

Parents say they've been having some pretty serious talks with their children.

"Just tell your teacher if something looks suspicious. Don’t talk to strangers. Just keep an eye out for stuff like that," said parent Shauna Thompson.

The Cobb County School District released a statement saying they have various programs they offer students and families to help during optionally difficult circumstances.

If you have any information regarding this case, please call the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Crimes Against Children Division at 770-445-6105.