A Central Park resident was faced with a parent’s worst fear Wednesday when he took a phone call from a man indicating his daughter had been abducted.
The resident called the police at 11:19 a.m. Wednesday, saying when he answered a call he could hear a young girl crying and saying “daddy, daddy” several times. A man then spoke to the resident, using his correct first name, saying “I have your daughter. If you want her …” The call then disconnected.
The resident immediately called the school his daughter attends and found she was safe and sound there. He then called 911, according to Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate. The call came from what appeared to be a Mexico number: +52 6563227320. When deputies attempted to call the number it was no longer in service.
“It appears that other similar calls have been made in Aberdeen as well as Thurston County,” said Shumate. “In some of the other calls the suspect had identified himself as ‘Batman’ and there was a request for ransom.”
Lieutenant Kevin Darst from Aberdeen Police confirmed Thursday two calls had been taken in Aberdeen and the people who received them were related to the man who received the call in Central Park. The Aberdeen victim and her daughter both received calls from a number, SR 16-A22971, at around the same time as the Central Park man. All three share the same phone account.
“She related that the girl on the phone sounded distraught, but she knew that it was a lie, so she didn’t go along with it,” said Darst. “She talked to her other family members and confirmed that everyone was accounted for. The phone call showed up on her phone as a call from Mexico and when she called it back, it was disconnected.”
Shumate says anyone receiving such a call should follow his advice: “We would like to know if these types of calls continue for our citizens. I recommend people immediately hang up, verify that their family member is accounted for, and then call Grays Harbor Communications at (360) 533-8765, or 911 if they don’t remember the non-emergency number.”