PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. — A 10-year-old girl had to struggle and help her half sisters to safety during an apparent attempted kidnapping at a North Mississippi campground.
A peaceful night camping near Sardis Lower Lake in Panola County turned frightening when mother Brandy Denton, along with family and friends, were staying at the Oak Grove grove campground Saturday.
"When they come out, I just heard this horrific scream," Denton said. "I've never heard them scream like that before."
Denton described what she heard when her daughter went to the bathroom late in the evening.
"It was just a terrifying moment," she said.
Her daughter, 10-year-old Jordan Hendrix, described the moment she and her sisters were approached.
"Was getting ready to come out of the bathroom, and then somebody started chasing us when we was coming out," Hendrix said. "We started running, and I grabbed my little sister because he was about to get her."
Jordan thought quick, pulling her 4-year-old half sister closer to her, running and screaming to get attention. She said all she saw was a man with a flashlight.
A witness told deputies she saw a taller man with a flashlight chasing the girls.
"I don't know how they got away," Hannah Hendrix, mother to the younger girls explained.
The group said initially, they felt safe.
"That's why we got the campsite that we did," Denton said. "We were right beside the playground and the restroom. We've been going there for years, and nothing like this has ever happened."
The Panola County Sheriff said the area is heavily patrolled with usually no problems. They're still investigating, and deputies are unsure if the man was actually attempting to abduct the girls or trying to scare them.
Still, they're taking the report seriously, as they're looking for the man responsible.
But these mothers have a message for other moms:
"Go everywhere your children go."
No matter how safe and secure you might think you are.
No arrests have been made yet, and because it was so dark outside, the description of the man is vague.
Anyone with information should contact the Panola County Sheriff's Office.