Plenty of tips, no solid leads in Port Townsend child-luring case

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — So far, the many tips from the public received after two child-luring attempts in Port Townsend have produced no leads, a Port Townsend police spokesman said a month after the first incident was reported.

“As of yet, nothing of the information we have gotten has panned out to be anything we feel is relevant to the case,” said Officer Luke Bogues.

However, he thanked the public for its vigilance.

Bogues described the community's response to the luring attempts as “amazing” and said he could not think of anything else to ask from the public.

“Everybody's taking this to heart [and shown] that this is an issue they care about,” Bogues said Friday.

Earlier, on Oct. 10, Bogues said:

“There are some discrepancies between the two juveniles' descriptions of the suspect and the vehicle, but that is only to be expected due to their age and the fact that they may be in a state of crisis. We are treating them as related incidents at this time.”

Sightings of white vans have either not been confirmed or proved to be unrelated.

Sgt. Randy Pieper of the Clallam County Sheriff's Office said a white van sighted Wednesday in an unincorporated area of the county near Sequim could not be found by the responding deputy.

'Gone on arrival'

Bogues said a Port Townsend police detective following up on a report of a van seen in Sequim on Monday at about 11 a.m. determined it was unrelated to the luring attempts.

“Nothing to lead us to believe they're connected to the case in Port Townsend,” Bogues said.

The van was seen near Helen Haller Elementary School and the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula.

A van sighting in Port Angeles two weeks ago also was not related, Bogues added.

Forks Police Administrator Rick Bart said Friday no white vans sightings there have been tied to the Port Townsend case.

Based on the publicity the incidents have received, Bogues said, the man responsible could very well have left the area.

“With any luck, he figured out that Port Townsend is not a community that's going to put up with that, and he's moved on, and that's the last we're going to see or hear of him,” Bogues said.

In early October, two 11-year-old children were approached in separate incidents as they rode their bicycles to Blue Heron Middle School.

A man in a white van offered candy to a boy Oct. 2 and told a girl Oct. 9 that her mother wanted him to give her a ride to school.

The boy turned down the candy and took off, and the girl asked the man her mother's name. When he couldn't tell her, she fled.

No luring attempts have been reported since then.

White van

The man was driving a white full-size van that had no windows, according to the boy.

The girl said the white van had three windows down the side and two on the back doors.

A sketch of the man thought to be involved, gleaned from a police interview with the boy, was published Oct. 18 and distributed to law enforcement throughout the region.

The driver of the white van was described as having scruffy white facial hair, a gauged plug-style earring in his right ear, missing front teeth and wearing an Oakland A's baseball cap, according to the boy approached Oct. 2.

To the girl, the man appeared to be in his 50s.

He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt low over his face. He had no visible facial hair, but had a pierced nose, according to police.

________



Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant contributed to this report

Last modified: November 02. 2013 5:32PM
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