Alleged abduction attempt in Big Thicket area prompts stepped-up patrols

The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office is adding an extra patrol in the Big Thicket Retreat area after an abduction attempt was reported on Sunday at the Solid Rock Full Gospel Church, according to Patrol Capt. Michael Langley. This area is northeast of Rye and north of Votaw.

“We got a call about a kid possibly being stalked out there in that area. When we got there, the mother told deputies that her 9-year-old son said a man asked him to come to his van,” Langley said. “When people from the church went down the road to speak to the driver, the van took off.”

The driver is described as a white male, age unknown. The description of the white van created some confusion in the small community as another van was photographed with two Hispanic male occupants. Law enforcement has ruled out the second van from its investigation at this time, Langley said.

“This is an out-of-the-way area and the people who live there are pretty good at calling us about suspicious activity. We are taking this seriously,” he said. “This person may have had no ill intentions. They may have needed directions and stopped to ask but we don’t know.”

The boy who initially reported the abduction reacted appropriately, said Langley, as he didn’t obey the man’s request and reported it to adults immediately.

“The stranger danger thing is something every parent should be talking to their kids about. It’s that simple,” he said.

The boy also provided law enforcement with a partial license plate number, but the sheriff’s office has been unable to find a link to a white van.

Langley said the incident is a reminder that everyone needs to be watchful of their surroundings.

“Be watchful and report any unusual activity to the sheriff’s office. Unfortunately that’s where we are in the times we live in,” he said.


  1. Neighborhood in Hoop and Holler are following the vehicle that was reported, and while following them, with law on the phone, was told nothing can be done until they are seen grabbing a child!!! 😠 😠 why???

    • They need to be more patrolling down here in hoop n holler parents plz watch ur babys caiuse u never know what creeps are out there so liberty county hardin County patrol our area more often thamks

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