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Child Thwarts Kidnapping by Asking for Her Parents’ Code Word

Does your family have one?

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An 11-year-old girl escaped a potential kidnapping last Wednesday in San Tan Valley, Arizona by asking for the family “code word.” According to reports from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, the girl was walking with her friend when a man drove up and told her that her brother was in a serious accident and that she needed to come with him. But when the stranger couldn’t tell her what the code word was, she refused to get in, and he drove away without her.

“We came up with a code word, and this one time, it saved my daughter’s life,” mom Brenda James said about the incident in an interview with Fox 10 Phoenix. “I never thought it would be used, but I’m proud of her for remembering that and knowing to use that.” She also noted that the code word was “something really recent” that the James family had just started using a few months ago after the Arizona mom had a read a story about it.

Warning:On Wednesday, November 7th, a Pinal County deputy responded to a home in the North Pecan Creek neighborhood…

Posted by Pinal County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, November 8, 2018

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The local Arizona authorities are still searching for the man, who has been described as a white male in his 40s with a beard. Apparently other children have seen him around the park before, driving a white SUV similar to a Ford Explorer. Anyone with information about the suspect is encouraged to contact the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office at 520-866-5111.

Sheriff Mark Lamb hopes that other parents learn from the near-kidnapping. “We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation,” he said, adding, “Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking to their children about stranger danger.”