Memphis, Tenn. -- Memphis police say they’ve found the man they say raped a little girl on her way to school Monday morning.
“Horrific," said the victim's mom about receiving the phone call. "It was terrifying. All I could think of was my baby.”
Her 11-year-old daughter was walking to Geeter Middle School around 7 a.m. when she says a man pulled up in an SUV.
“From my understanding, I guess was she was on her way to school and he hit her with his vehicle and drug her into his car and took her on the other side, proceeded to rape her and dropped her off,” said the victim's mom.
She said a woman driving to work stopped when something seemed off. That’s when police were called and now say they’re making this case a top priority.
“Kids are our prized possession," said Lt. Colonel Gregory Sanders with MPD. "We cannot allow anything to happen to our children.”
Police recommend always having your kids walk in pairs or groups if you’re not able to take them to school.
Shelby County Schools require middle and high schoolers to live at least two miles away from the school to be eligible to ride the bus.
“We never had that problem over here, ever," said neighbor Thepleton Richmond.
The school district released a statement saying they’re aware of the incident and are asking parents to stress to children the importance of being careful walking to and from school. They also said they’ve requested extra support from police in Whitehaven and called parents of surrounding schools.
“Right now, I’m just trying to hold everything together and just stay focused and be here for my baby," said the victim's mom.
If you know anything about this incident, you’re asked to contact Memphis police or Crime Stoppers. The suspect was last seen in a blue SUV.