MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police on Wednesday asked for the public’s help in solving a string of sexual assaults and abductions in South Memphis that they believe may be connected.
Investigators say in the early morning hours, a man in his early 20s driving a dark-colored SUV has been approaching young females and forcing them into his vehicle. In more than one incident, the victim was sexually assaulted.
Police have been investigating for several weeks in the South Memphis neighborhoods of Gaslight, Bunker Hill, and Cane Creek. However, when we asked them about ten days ago, they denied it.
With her mother’s permission, we spoke with a 9-year-old girl who said a man matching the description tried to snatch her and friend last week.
“A man in a black Jeep, he had pulled up and told us school was out and it really wasn’t and we told him, was just gone keep on walking,” she said. “He said ‘if you don’t get in this car right now, I’m going to shoot you.'”
Her mother, Ayanna Robinson, said she told police after her daughter called her hysterical at school.
“He would have lost his life if he would snatched mines up. It would have been some problems. He sick, he sick in the head. You a grown (expletive) man and you out here touching on kids,” she said.
MPD is now working with the FBI and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to solve the crimes.
In response, Memphis and Shelby County Schools said the district has additional officers stationed at Hamilton High School and Hamilton K-8 in the area.
“We are asking our families and community to continue to assist us by being extra sets of eyes and ears,” said MSCS Superintendent Toni Williams. “In this moment, we must unite and work together to keep our children safe.”
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Last week, police reported that a girl had been abducted while walking to school in the area near Ethlyn and Silver. She was able to get away, but the incident left parents concerned.
MSCS issued a robocall last month following reports of a man driving in the area of Hamilton K-8 and Hamilton High, attempting to pick up students against their will.
As for Robinson, she’s no longer letting her daughter walk to and from school and hopes the suspect is off the streets soon.
“I hope somebody in the street catch him before the police do, so he can get his (expletive) whooped then get locked up in jail,” Robinson said.
Police did not provide the exact locations of the crimes or the number of alleged abductions.
If you have any information or have been offered a ride by the person, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers aT 901-528-CASH.