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Sheriff: Witness stands by kidnapping report

BRADENTON — Detectives continue to investigate a possible attempted abduction of a child, after the woman who reported the incident stuck with her story Friday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

“Today, detectives interviewed the witness again and she reiterated what she said yesterday,” a news release said.

The sheriff’s office still has not received any information on a missing child. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (941) 747-3011. The tips line number set up for the incident is no longer in service.

Earlier Friday, Sheriff Brad Steube said his detectives were planning to meet again with a 23-year-old woman who reported a possible child abduction in the Whitfield Estates neighborhood of southern Manatee County.

“We plan to meet with her today and re-examine the events as she reported them,” Steube announced during the Manatee CEO Roundtable meeting at the Manatee County school district’s administration building.

The woman, who resides in the 7300 block of Phillips Street, called authorities after she said she saw a boy with sandy blond hair get snatched up by a man in a van near the intersection of Phillips Street and Whitfield Avenue.

After the report, sheriff’s officials sent out 48,000 reverse 911 calls to homes across the county and did door-to-door canvasses in the Whitfield Estates area.

Steube said sheriff’s officials called all parents of students at Abel Elementary School and verified that their children were at home.

“As time went on, we figured by 6, 7, 8 (p.m.), someone would call, so the next question is, what did the woman see?” Steube said.

Officials did not issue an Amber Alert because the case did not meet the threshold. There is technically no victim in the case because a child has not been identified as missing.