Suspicious man seen with young girl, prompts child safety reminder

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



After responding to a suspicious person seen with a young girl Thursday, Vancouver police are asking parents to keep a close eye on their children and to be aware of suspicious subjects.

Officers were dispatched to the Marketplace Apartments, 2900 General Anderson Ave., regarding a man who was holding the hand of a screaming 2- or 3-year-old girl.

When a witness approached the two, who were standing on Caples Avenue, the witness asked if the man was the child’s father and he replied, “No,” according to a police bulletin. When asked if he was related to the child, he responded, “What does it matter?” The man, who identified himself as Jim, then walked north on Caples Avenue as the child ran back into the apartment complex and into the arms of a subject believed to be her father, the witness told police.

Police checked the area, but did not locate the man, who is described as white, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, wearing jean coveralls with a hole in the left knee and a buttoned-up jeans shirt . He had dirty blond hair and a scruffy face.

After working with apartment management, officers did not locate the child or her father.

Police said that although they couldn’t confirm if the child was in danger or not, the situation was concerning enough to remind the public to be cautious.