Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

When a strange car drove up, a 10-year-old girl was pressured to get in the vehicle of a hopeful kidnapper. However, she suddenly remembered her “code word,” which every child should have.

code word

A 10-year-old girl was nearly abducted in broad daylight by a brazen suspect when he attempted to lure her into his vehicle. Incredibly, the little girl was able to use her wit to outsmart the man by using a time-tested technique that parents have handed down to their children throughout the ages.

The incident occurred in San Tan Valley, Arizona, as the child was walking with her friend near a public park. The girl says an unknown male suddenly pulled up next to the pair in a white SUV and rolled his window down. Right when she saw the man, she knew something wasn’t right.

“He was covering his face like this and he told me that my brother ‘has been in a serious accident and he told me to come pick you up,’” the child told KTRK.

Disturbingly, the stranger could have easily tricked the girl with his story, which happened to have just the right amount of detail to convince a child. However, she suddenly remembered one simple rule her mother had taught her if a situation like this ever occurs.

“I went like, ‘What’s the code word?’ And he just kind of froze his face and drove off,” she explained.

The girl had been taught that if her family ever needed a stranger to pick her up in the event of an emergency, they would tell them the “code word” to show the child that they really were sent by her relatives. If the stranger didn’t know the secret phrase, it would signify to the little girl that her family didn’t send the person, Insider reports.

“I was scared because, if I would’ve hopped in, I didn’t know what he would do to me,” the little girl explained.

code word

When the suspect realized that the child wasn’t fooled by his ploy, he panicked and fled. The little girl took off running and made it safely to her grandmother, who immediately contacted the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department.

“I asked him what the code was ’cause my family had a code, and he didn’t know it, so I ran,” the child told the police.

The sheriff’s office released a statement praising the child for her bravery and warning parents of the potential dangers. The suspect was described as a white male in his 40s with a short beard. The sheriff’s office confirmed that other children in the area have reported seeing the same white SUV “circling the park several times a day.”

“Kudos to the parents of this child for having a code word and talking about to their children about stranger danger,” Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said. “We hope by putting this out, it will encourage parents to have that conversation and create a plan with their children, so they know what to do if they are in that situation.”

Brenda James says that her daughter is doing well but is very wary of strangers since the incident. The mother hopes that her daughter’s experience will prompt parents to establish a code word for their children, which could potentially save them from being abducted.

“I never thought it would be used, but I’m proud of her for remembering that and knowing to use that,” James said. “This one time, it saved my daughter’s life.”

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children urges parents to go over “what if” scenarios in which they play out what might happen in the event that their child is approached by a stranger with nefarious intent.

Coming up with a code word is a simple but effective plan that has saved countless children from going off with their would-be kidnappers. It also helps to show children that just because someone looks nice, harmless, or sincere, it doesn’t mean they are trustworthy.