Police in Aurora, Colo. are saying an 8-year-old girl's cries for help are probably what saved her from being kidnapped by a predator who had crawled through her bedroom window on Sunday evening in an attempted kidnapping. The predator fled and still remains at large, and local police are asking for the public's help in catching the man, described as a Caucasian male with short blonde hair.
"We believe there is a predator out there, and he needs to be stopped. He needs to be caught," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said at a news conference Monday, according to The Denver Post. The police chief added that "a predator like this could go anywhere, and has no regard for jurisdictional boundaries."
Oates went on to say that evidence gathered from the Sunday evening incident indicates that the predator randomly targeted the involved family, and that inference makes the case even more chilling. "There is nothing to indicate that this family was targeted in particular, which in some ways make it even more chilling," Oates said. "I've been in this business a long time. I've never seen anything like this. We really need your support, the media support and the public support. Tips and leads to catch this guy."
An 8-year-old, whose name has remained anonymous because she is a minor, was studying in her bedroom in Aurora's Hanover neighborhood around midnight on Sunday evening when a predator, described as wearing a large winter jacket and smelling distinctly of cigarette smoke, cut a slit in her bedroom window screen and opened the unlocked window. He then reportedly reached up onto the girl's bunk bed and pulled her off and through the window. The girl struggled against the predator and screamed for help. Hearing her screams, her father ran outside to find her running toward him in a small alley next to their house.
Police have surmised that the girl's struggle and screams possibly spooked the predator, causing him to flee before he was able to get the child into his vehicle, described by witnesses as a newer model grey or silver BMW SUV.
Reports indicate that following Sunday night's incident, the girl's family has left the house, only returning briefly to get their dogs but refusing to speak with reporters.
The neighborhood where this recent crime took place is the same area where earlier this month a father was charged with child abuse resulting in death after he allegedly head-butted his three-month-old son, killing him. One neighbor, 41-year-old Lawrence Chambers, told the Aurora Sentinel: "I gotta [sic] move."