Juveniles: Man with gun took teen into woods

Juveniles reported seeing a man with a gun take a teenage girl into the woods near Riverside Drive in Dowagiac. (April 3, 2014)

DOWAGIAC, Mich. (WOOD) — Police conducted a second search Thursday after juveniles reported seeing a teenage girl with a man who had a gun Wednesday evening in Dowagiac.

Around 7:20 p.m., the juveniles told Dowagiac officers that they were playing in a parking lot at 530 Riverside Drive when they heard yelling from some nearby woods, according to a release from the Dowagiac Department of Public Safety. Then, they said, they saw a man with a handgun pulling a female into the woods.

The juveniles described the man as having white skin and brown hair, but they could not determine his age. He was reportedly wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt with writing on it that may have been an Aeropostale logo, and blue jeans.

The juveniles described the female being a white teenager. She reportedly had straight, shoulder-length blonde hair and was wearing a pink zip-up sweater or sweatshirt.

A K-9 team searched the area where the female allegedly went missing, but came up with nothing. A search team was also assembled, and conducted a search Wednesday night but was not able to gain any new information.

Officers received a tip Wednesday night that a male and a female — who were wearing clothing similar to what was originally reported — were spotted in a white Ford F-150 pickup truck in the area near the location of the possible abduction.

The female in the truck was reported to be younger in age, possibly a teenager, and the truck was reported to have left the area. That information was being investigated to determine whether it is related to the possible abduction.

Dowagiac officers canvassed the area to try to find more witnesses. Authorities have also put out a call seeking more information about anyone who may be missing. Anyone with a missing friend or family member is asked to call 911.

Investigators have also been in contact with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about the incident.

Thursday, two search parties — one made up of Dowagiac firefighters and the other of firefighters from the Sister Lakes and Keeler Township fire departments — checked the wooded area  and an adjacent area near a gravel pit on Wilber Hill Road south of Dowagiac, police said. They didn’t find anything.

The searches were made difficult by poor weather conditions, a release from the Dowagiac Department of Public Safety said.

Detectives are checking into tips that were previously received, and no new information had been received by the department as of late Thursday afternoon.

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