Mystery over ‘missing’ boy in Virginia

UPDATE: Saturday – 7/6/2013, 4:57 pm ET

WASHINGTON – The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office says in a statement that “After following up on hundreds of leads and phone tips for several days, the Sheriff’s Office has not yet received any calls of a missing child and no similar reports have been taken anywhere in the state during this time period. Detectives from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office will continue to follow any leads that are generated, however the Command Center operations will be transitioned to the routine staffing levels, commencing today.”

The sheriff’s office says that anyone with more information on the identity of the child or the owner of the blue van should call 540-582-7287 and 540-582-2535.

UPDATE: Friday – 7/5/2013, 6:13pm ET

WASHINGTON – The Virginia State Police cancelled their media alert for a missing endangered child due to a lack of leads.

They say police are continuing to investigate and will provide more information Saturday.

EARLIER: Friday – 7/5/2013, 12:30pm ET

WASHINGTON – Authorities in Spotsylvania County are investigating a possible child abduction and Virginia State Police have issued a media alert for an endangered missing child.

The boy, described as about 12 to 13 years old, was last seen riding a BMX bike in the area of the Holleybrooke subdivision, near Smith Station Road and Holleybrooke Drive.

No one has reported the unidentified boy missing, but authorities say a man reportedly was seen getting out of a blue work van and pulling a screaming boy inside at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to ABC 7.

Capt. Jeff Pearce with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office tells WTOP the witnesses — a man and a woman — are standing by their story.

“Nobody has called to say their child was missing or abducted,” Pearce says. “But we can’t take the chance that somebody hasn’t realized their child is missing.”

One woman also tells ABC 7 she saw the boy riding a bike with flat tires, and the station says police confirmed a bike with flat tires was found where the child reportedly was taken.

Pearce says the boy also reportedly was trying to defend himself with his bicycle, and the door he was dragged through was flapping open when the van drove away.

“Both the vehicle and the child had been seen in the neighborhood in the past week, but nobody had seen that child in that vehicle,” Pearce says.

He says authorities want to reassure people that if the incident was simply a parent corralling an unruly child, the parent shouldn’t be afraid to come forward.

“You’re not in trouble,” Pearce says. “We have to find this van, and make sure the child is OK.”

The full-size, medium-blue van is described as having double-doors that open outward in the back, and the rear door on the left side has a tinted window. The right rear door does not have a window but has a light-colored repair spot on it.

Police say the boy is about 5-foot-1, weighs about 80 pounds and has light brown hair. He was wearing a red-and-white striped shirt and blue cargo pants.

The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star reports the man is described as Hispanic, in his 20s or 30s, about 6 feet tall and weighing about 180 to 200 pounds. He reportedly was wearing a black tank top and black cargo pants that were dirty.

Pearce says authorities are recanvassing the area Friday. The FBI, Virginia State Police and Stafford County sheriff’s officials are involved in the investigation.

Anyone who has seen the boy or has information about his whereabouts is asked to call authorities at 540-507-7200 or Virginia State Police at 1-800-VACHILD (822- 4453).

See more from ABC 7 below:

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