Vancouver police find no evidence that girl was lured from school playground

Investigators have been unable to ‘corroborate a claim that a six-year-old girl was lured off of Sexsmith Elementary School property.’

The investigation into the alleged assault earlier this month of a six-year-old girl continues, however, Vancouver police say investigators have not yet been able to corroborate the claims.

In a press release issued Friday afternoon, media relations officer Sgt. Jason Robillard said that investigators “have found no evidence to-date to corroborate a claim that a six-year-old girl was lured off of Sexsmith Elementary School property in early December.”

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On Dec. 5, the girl was allegedly lured from the playground at the school, located on Columbia and West 59th Avenue, by a stranger. It is alleged that the suspect took the girl to a nearby location and assaulted her before walking her back to the school. The suspect is described as a darker-skinned man, approximately 30 years old with brown or grey hair and wearing grey pants.

A week later, Vancouver police appealed to the public for witnesses and anyone with dashcam footage from the area to come forward.

Robillard said a team of detectives from the department’s sex crimes unit and youth services section have investigated tips from the public, interviewed staff and students, canvassed neighbourhoods, and obtained and reviewed numerous pieces of video footage but have been unable to corroborate the information initially provided to police.

“We feel this is an important update for parents, staff, students and the broader community to be aware of,” Robillard said. “Investigating any allegation that affects one’s personal safety, especially the health and safety of a child, is a priority for the Vancouver Police.”

He said the investigation is active and ongoing.

@JessicaEKerr

jkerr@vancourier.com

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