Murray police investigating attempted kidnapping of 8-year-old boy

Sep 5, 2022, 7:23 PM

MURRAY, Utah — A Murray community is on edge as police investigate the attempted kidnapping of an 8-year-old boy Sunday night.

“I heard a bunch of kids screaming and I looked over that way and there are just kids running and they’re like, ‘Don’t go, don’t go!'” said Cassie Christian, who was sitting on her porch at the time.

Christian said several families were in a courtyard area in the back of the Villas at Vine Apartments around 10:30 last night, watching a group of children play games, when a man in a vehicle parked next to the basketball court and called out to her 8-year-old neighbor – ordering him to get into the car. She said a second man walking next to the vehicle also yelled at the boy to get in the car.

“It’s a maroon-colored Subaru-type vehicle, two toned, like red on top and brown at the bottom,” Christian said.

Jacob Shaffer said his 7-year-old daughter, Autumn, was with the boy and told him not to go. She and the other children then ran for help.

“Autumn came running in there shaking, literally shaking, saying some guy tried to take a little kid, and I was like what?”

Shaffer’s daughter said she felt like her friend was in danger.

“My gut told me he was a stranger,“ Autumn said.

Shaffer and several parents ran after the driver, confronting him as he drove away. He said one parent reached into his vehicle and punched the man.

“Things got a little violent, but his story wasn’t making sense,” Shaffer said.

Security video of the vehicle was turned over to Murray police, who say they are investigating the incident as an attempted kidnapping.

“It will be turned over to detectives to look into it further, but unfortunately, no plate number on the vehicle,” said Paul Christiansen with the Murray Police Department.

Residents in the complex say they believe a second person may have also been involved in the attempted kidnapping. They say a second man walking near the vehicle also yelled at the child to get inside. That man then disappeared out of the complex.

“It’s terrifying,” Christian said. “No child should be in danger at their own property of being abducted.”

Shaffer said he’s proud of his daughter for knowing something was wrong and getting help. He hopes other children will feel empowered to do the same.

“I’m proud of her, you know. Something we’ve taught her her whole life is stranger danger, you stay away from people you do not know,” he said.

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Murray police investigating attempted kidnapping of 8-year-old boy