Brownsburg alleged abduction attempt was mistaken identity

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BROWNSBURG - Police now say that an alleged abduction attempt was actually a case of mistaken identity.

Police stepped up patrols after a Brownsburg Middle School student reported the attempted abduction. It happened Tuesday morning at a bus stop at the corner of York Road and Sycamore Street.

But now police say the woman mistook the girl for another girl from her neighborhood, and was simply offering her a ride home.

The following message was sent to parents:

"Parents, Brownsburg Schools Police Chief Ginnie Wing has confirmed that Wednesday's reported abduction attempt of a child was a case of mistaken identity. The woman came forward to law enforcement this morning and explained that she believed the child to be another that she knew from the neighborhood and had given rides to before. With the dark and rainy conditions that morning, it was not until friends told her of the news reports that she realized that it was not the child she knew. Chief Wing has verified the woman's story."

The child reported the incident to school officials which prompted a police investigation, notification calls to parents, and media attention, the school wrote in a release.

"It's unfortunate for everyone involved that what was intended as a kind gesture took this turn. However, we hope parents and teachers took this opportunity to discuss with children ways to keep themselves safe," Chief Wing said.

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"The student did not get in the car obviously, went home and told the parent, the parent walked the child to the bus, got on the bus and the incident was reported," explained Donna Petraits with the Brownsburg Community School Corporation.

Students across the district, like second-grader Katherine Tiehen, got a lesson in stranger danger from teachers.

"Just run away and you can say no and run away," said Tiehen.

"That is frightening and its horrible," said Tiehen's mother Renee of the incident.

"Definitely, it is a concern," said parent Kevin Grant.

Parents said the incident gave them another chance to talk with their kids about what to do if a stranger approaches them and something just didn't feel right.

"Don't go with anybody you don't know and stuff like that, right?"Grant asked his young son as the pair walked home from school.

"I want to make sure that everybody knows how to make sure they're safe," added Renee Tiehen.

Police with Brownsburg and the school district are stepping up their patrols.

"They're doing regular patrols, particularly during times when students would be traveling to and from school," explained Petraits. That has parents relieved, but still on guard.

"I'm just over paranoid," said Renee Tiehen. "I'm just worried because there's too many things on the Internet.  There's too many things on TV that we just hear about," said Tiehen.