Taralee Lafferty is cautioning residents of Rae-Edzo to be on the lookout for a black car with a license plate from outside the NWT.
She said on Friday afternoon, when her nine-year-old daughter was playing outside of Chief Jimmy Bruneau School, a man in a black car rolled down the window and told her to get in. The man apparently told the girl to “come now. Your mom told me to pick you up,” Lafferty said.
The daughter had asked Lafferty, an employee at the school, if she could play in the front until Lafferty was ready to go. Lafferty said that when she brought the car around to pick up her daughter only a few minutes later, her daughter told her what happened.
At the time of the incident the girl was walking to the back of the school to meet her mom after her friends went home. Lafferty said her daughter is usually with her older sister, who happened to be home sick that day.
“It’s pretty scary,” Lafferty said. “If somebody else was going to pick her up, she’s going to know. I’m going to tell her.”
Lafferty worries some kids might not know what to do. She took to Facebook to make the incident known to the public.
“Beware,” she wrote. “My daughter almost got kidnapped outside the school in Edzo.”
“Thank God my kids know I’d never get someone else to pick them up without them knowing. So so scary.”
The Facebook post has almost 595 shares and 57 comments as of Tuesday afternoon.
Lafferty also contacted Behchoko RCMP.
RCMP spokesperson Julie Plourde said the RCMP have started an investigation, though no suspect has yet been identified. Plourde said that anyone who witnessed the incident should contact Behchoko RCMP at 867-392-1111.
Lafferty said other people have responded with stories of a suspicious driver in a vehicle matching the one described by her daughter.
The incident follows reports in August of an “erratic driver” targeting vehicles on Highway 3. Reports at the time seemed to indicate the vehicle could be targeting women late at night.
Lafferty hopes the RCMP spend more time “looking out” on the highway. She said that vehicles are driving through from Yellowknife, to Fort Providence, to Hay River, and elsewhere and people are “hanging out on the highways,” as a result.
Lafferty warns others to “be careful, pick up their kids. Make sure someone is there.”
“People need to be aware that this is happening,” she said.