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Cloquet police unsure about abduction reports

Cloquet police are continuing to investigate two reports of possible child abduction attempts in town since Feb. 12, though follow-up interviews with the child who reported the first incident revealed dramatic inconsistencies in her story, which ...

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Cloquet police are continuing to investigate two reports of possible child abduction attempts in town since Feb. 12, though follow-up interviews with the child who reported the first incident revealed dramatic inconsistencies in her story, which has led police to question elements of the second report, said Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande.

An 11-year-old girl reported being approached by a clean-shaven man between the ages of 20 and 30, wearing a black stocking cap and sunglasses and driving a black, two-door car. The girl said the man approached her as she was waiting for her bus before school and asked her for help with his dog, claiming the dog had a broken leg.

During the initial report, the girl said the man was white, Lamirande said. But during another interview with Cloquet police four days later, the girl said the man was black and gave differing details about the car, Lamirande said.

"Our detectives are questioning the credibility of the first report because of how drastically the information has changed," Lamirande said.

The girl also claims to have told a friend about the incident after she boarded the school bus, according to a Cloquet police detective, Lamirande said, though the friend later said she had no recollection of that conversation.

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Earlier this week, a 10-year-old boy reported a second possible abduction attempt. The boy said he was approached by "a suspect matching the [previous girl's] first description, from the original report," Lamirande said on Friday morning.

The boy was waiting to be picked up after a game of hockey Tuesday night at Pinehurst Park; he was left alone for about 10 minutes after the game because the game organizer had to pick up his own children, Lamirande said. The boy said he was approached during those 10 minutes by a white man, age 28 to 30, wearing a black hat and sunglasses and a leather jacket, driving a black two-door passenger car, who asked for "help with his injured dog," Lamirande said.

"We have been unable to identify the suspect or locate the suspect's vehicle," Lamirande said. "We don't want to discredit these reports, so we're asking the community to remain on high alert."

But the department also doesn't want to add to people's fears if they are unfounded.

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