A Dowagiac fire engine departs from Rotary Park, after crews searched the wooded area Thursday morning. Local officials continue to investigate a possible kidnapping that occurred Wednesday night. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)
A Dowagiac fire engine departs from Rotary Park, after crews searched the wooded area Thursday morning. Local officials continue to investigate a possible kidnapping that occurred Wednesday night. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Archived Story

Investigation continues into possible abduction case

Published 2:26pm Thursday, April 3, 2014

Update: Authorities have called off any further searches of the area, due to a lack of additional tips, leads or information about the incident, according to a press release by the Dowagiac Police Department.

Local authorities continue to search the wooded areas surrounding Riverside Drive Thursday to investigate a possible kidnapping incident reported last night.

Police, firefighters and local emergency response teams searched the area until around 3 a.m. Thursday before reconvening around 9 a.m. at the Dowagiac Fire Department to continue to look for any signs of the possible abduction of a teenage girl, said Dowaigac Director of Public Safety Steve Grinnewald. Crews expanded their search area into the fields and woods neighboring those behind the dental clinic where the incident allegedly occurred.

“They got to cover the entire area today,” Grinnewald said. “Our guys feel comfortable that they searched the entire area thoroughly.”

In addition to the hindrances caused by the heavy rain that moved into the Dowagiac area this morning, authorities were also dealing with thick foliage and mud that have made efforts to identify possible clues even more difficult, Grinnewald said.

“Our search crews have been working hard,” he said. “We’re proud of their efforts.”

So far, authorities have not received any information that pertains to the identity of the reported victim or suspect, and the phone calls they received concerning possible missing persons were resolved quickly and were likely unrelated to the case at hand, Grinnewald said.

However, olice will continue to investigate the incident as a kidnapping until evidence suggests otherwise.

“Until we know for sure, we’re treating it like it happened as reported,” Grinnewald said.

Authorities received a tip from a person who lives in the area that a white Ford F-150 truck was spotted in the area with the male and female occupants wearing similar clothing to what was reported earlier that evening. Detectives are following up on this and any other leads that may shed light on what might have occurred Wednesday evening.

Search crews will continue their efforts throughout the remainder of the day, Grinnewald said.

Citizens with possible information about the case are urged to call 911.

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks