Woman tried to lure girl into van near Howell

Surveillance video from a home security system in Oceola Township in Livingston County shows the vehicle in the case.

Investigators say a woman riding in a white van tried to talk to a 12-year-old girl she didn’t know.

“A student that attends one of the Howell middle schools was getting of the bus. As she was walking up the driveway, a white van pulled up. An African-American female, who we believe was on the passenger side of the van made a motion with her hand and asked the girl to come over to the van,” said Undersheriff Jeff Warder, Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.

“It's really scary. Thank God the child that was approached knew what to do, and to run home right away to tell someone what was happening.  We’re all pretty shook up I think, because of how serious it is. It’s in our neighborhood now. It’s something we heard about on the news,” said Hope Spaniola, a concerned parent.

“We're very proud of the way she responded.  She immediately went inside the house. She didn’t acknowledge the people in the van and once she got inside she made sure all the doors were locked. She shut the blinds to all the windows and she then called her mom,”
said Undersheriff Warder.

It happened Wednesday afternoon in the 4200 block of Merriman Loop in the upscale Hidden Creek subdivision. People who live there are understandably on edge.

“We want to just keep them as safe as we possibly can.  All the neighbors know, and everybody is just doing the best they can to keep the kids safe and accounted for,” said Spaniola.

Authorities are urging parents to take the time to sit down with their children and talk to them about what to do if they come in contact with a suspicious stranger.

“There are bad people out there, and there are people out there that want to harm people,” said Undersheriff Warder. “We want to make sure that these students and children act exactly the way this girl did. She did an amazing job. “

Investigators are hoping that someone who hears this story knows something. If you see that white van, call the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.

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