DuBOIS — For more than 24 hours, Sandy Township, DuBois City, and Penn State police have been probing a report that a child may have been put in the back of a white cargo van.
“At this point we don’t know enough to push it to the side. We have to treat it like it is something until it’s not,” said Sandy Township Police Officer Gregory Gornati Tuesday afternoon, adding, “We’ve been chasing white vans all day.”
According to police, around 11 a.m. Monday, authorities received a report of suspicious activity involving a child in the area of Shaffer Road and Commons Drive.
A passing motorist reported having seen a white cargo panel van with no windows which was driven by a white man with bleached blonde hair at the intersection of Shaffer Road and Bee Line Highway, when the motorist heard a female child screaming “help me” and the sound of someone kicking the inside of the van.
A bulletin was issued to surrounding law enforcement agencies and the community, which resulted in a viral response from Courier Express readers.
“It still is a concern. The problem is is that there is very limited information to go on,” Gornati said.
He added that there has been some misunderstanding about what kind of van was allegedly involved in the incident, explaining that it it a white Ford Transit van with no back windows. Additionally, police searched databases and have found no reports of missing children locally or across the state.
When asked, he said in the future if anyone experiences something suspicious, the most helpful piece of information they can gather for the police is the car’s registration, which will help to provide them with all the information needed to find the person.
For now, police are continuing to seek information related to the case and are gathering more surveillance video from stores in the area of the incident.
If anyone was in the area at the time of the report and may have seen any suspicious activity or may have seen a vehicle or person matching the descriptions provided, they are asked to call police by dialing 911 or the non-emergency number at 814-765-1533.