MENLO, Iowa -- It all happened in an instant, "Her little heart, I was holding her and her little heart was just beating a hundred times a minute. She was scared to death," said Celia Reynolds of Menlo.
Around noon Wednesday in Menlo, a small town in Guthrie County, a nine year old girl ran three blocks to the home of Lyle and Celia Reynolds to report an attempted abduction. "She said a man tried to get me in the car and I could hardly believe it," said Celia.
The Guthrie County Sheriff's office says a man tried to lure the girl at the Menlo Fuel Stop on the north edge of town with a deceitful request. "A white SUV stopped and asked for directions and when she went up to the SUV they tried pulling her into the SUV and she got away," said Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright.
The girl was able to fight back. "He really had a hold of her shoulder but she jerked away and she told the police officer that she popped him," said Lyle Reynolds.
The man and the SUV then made a quick get away. Resident Mary Little-Van Eaton said the girl managed to get a description of the man and said, "At some point he had a mask on with a Green Bay Packers hat on. Thankfully the little girl could get that much of a description."
Residents like Mary are thankful for the outcome but are left feeling disturbed. "We are pretty on edge," she said. Mary added, "You know there's less than 400 people in our town. We saw that vehicle, it came right down our road so it's scary to know this vehicle was out in our town basically hunting for little kids."
It's a town that prides itself on being helpful and courteous. Mary said, "We are friendly. Someone stops to say hey can you give me directions and kids around here normally say sure." A stranger took advantage of that and it has left many, like Celia, in disbelief. "This is our little town of Menlo. Things like this aren`t supposed to happen here." Mary added, "It makes me wonder about what goes through a person's mind when they set out to do something like this."
Anyone with information regarding the vehicle or suspect's whereabouts is urged to contact the Guthrie County Sheriff's Office or the Stuart Police Department.