Imagine, a stranger pulls up and grabs your child from the street where you live just yards away from your front door. Two young girls say that was reality for them in Hampton County over the weekend. Investigators call it a kidnapping attempt. They are still searching for the suspect.
The girls, ages 11 and 13, are alright. They 13-year-old, Anaya Stevens, reported she was grabbed by a man as he jumped out of a blue van, at about 7:30 p.m. Friday, on Holly Street West.
“I really don’t go on the road no more,” Stevens says.
She described the man’s appearance to a sketch artist with the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, who released the sketch Monday night. She is still shocked at what happened.
“We was walking right here and the blue van was coming and it slowed down and we turned around and was like, ‘who is that?’” she says.
She says the man told her to ‘get in the van,’ but she resisted, kicking and screaming, so he shoved her down onto the street and left.
Her friend and neighbor, 11-year-old Keyonna Mole was with her and ran to get help from her mother as it was happening.
“So, my first thing I’m not going to lie…I got my gun. I got my gun and I came outside. By the time I came out, I didn’t see anything. I just seen Anaya sitting on the tree,” Rakimdrea Mole says.
The spot where Stevens was grabbed is just barely off of Mole’s front yard. It’s also in the path the two girls walk each day to their bus stop.
The girls and their families are, of course, relieved the man left without taking the girls.
“That could have been…those two girls could have been dead and gone,” Mole says.
They are still recovering from the shock, especially Stevens.
“I had to actually reach down and pull her up to me and she wouldn’t say anything and as we were walking, and I’m holding her tight, I kept asking her was she okay, was she okay?’” Mole says.
Now, she’s aware of anything suspicious, cautioning others to be aware as well. She’s keeping her children even closer to home.
“They are prisoner in their own home because they can’t come out when they want to, because we got some sick people out here who are attracted to little kids,” Mole says.
The sheriff’s office is searching for the man depicted in the sketch, urging people to call 911 if they see the man or know his identity. The Sheriff says his office has recently been checking sex offender compliance with registration laws.
“You know, this [does] fall right in line with sex offenders,” Hampton County Sheriff TC Smalls says, “so, at this point in time, no stone is going un-turned. We are looking in all directions. My guys are looking at folks, if there’s any, near that area.”
“Honestly, I hope that they do catch him before he strikes again because if he tries to strike again, for another child, he might not be so lucky,” Mole says.
The sketch of the alleged attempted kidnapper, released by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office.