Undersheriff says department still on lookout after “suspicious situation”

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — The Arenac County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to investigate an incident where an unidentified person allegedly attempted to lure a 9-year-old girl into a white van with tinted windows.

Undersheriff Donald McIntyre said the department has received leads since the alleged incident took place occurred in the vicinity of the Arenac Store on State Road on the evening of Tuesday, May 10.

“We are still on lookout,” he said. “We have received a lot of help from the community with this issue.”

McIntyre was careful to call the incident a “suspicious situation” not an attempted abduction.

Sheriff Jim Mosciski said last week that the girl, who was allegedly approached by the van, told her parents there were two males in the van, and said she may have seen a third man but was unsure.

According to Mosciski, the van allegedly approached the girl while she was playing at a friend’s house. He said the girl told her parents that someone in the van rolled the window halfway down and asked her if she wanted candy. Mosciski said the girl yelled, “Ma!” and ran while the van pulled away.

He said the van in question is white with tinted windows and a star or sticker in one of the windows, not a sheriff sticker as early reports had stated.

Mosciski said the sheriff’s department was contacted at 6:18 p.m. that evening after the mother and her daughter returned home and talked about the incident with the mother’s spouse.

Mosciski said the Standish-Sterling Community School district was informed of the incident the following morning, May 11. The district then alerted parents with an automated message.

McIntyre said the alert that was sent out to the community to inform them of the situation.

“If we were to do nothing and something happened, that would be the worst thing that could happen,” he said. “By sending out an alert, the community can be more guarded.”

McIntyre said the incident appears to be isolated and does not appear to be related to similar situations that occurred in Auburn and Hemlock just days before.

“I have checked with departments in those areas, and the vehicle described does not match,” he said.

Anyone with information or who sees a van fitting this description is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office. The office can be reached at 989-846-4561.

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