PITTSBURGH — A report of child abduction led to a large search near Banksville Park that ended once police determined no child was missing, authorities said.
A girl who was at the park with her family said she saw a man near the wood line take a 6- or 7-year-old girl. However, after hours of searching, police determined the girl “misinterpreted what she thought she witnessed.”
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Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and state police were involved in the search, as was the sheriff’s office. Helicopters flew above the area as bloodhounds were used on the ground to scour the area.
After hours of searching, authorities called off the search. They said no one in the area had filed a missing persons report and the girl’s account of what happened had changed, though they stressed she had the best intentions and was not lying.
“They’ve searched the area thoroughly. The main reasons why this report appears to have been a mistake or incorrect was a couple of things. One, we don’t have any parents reporting any missing kids. That’s a huge indicator right there. Two, some of the details are starting to get a little bit fuzzy from the witness and so we are confident that the witness, who herself is young, might have misinterpreted what she saw. So, this is absolutely the best outcome,” Pittsburgh Public Safety spokesperson Chris Togneri said.
While the search was happening, parents were urged to check on their children and make sure they were home.
Here is a map showing the area where the park is located:
Cox Media Group