South Bend mom worried her child was almost abducted, police investigate

Published: Jan. 22, 2018 at 4:41 PM EST
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A worried South Bend mother thought two men might be trying to abduct her daughter at a local store.

Police investigated it as a suspicious persons report.

Haley Craig says it happened at the T.J. Maxx inside Indian Ridge Plaza in Mishawaka.

Her Facebook post has gone viral in the last 24 hours, urging parents to keep their children safe. It reads:

"Was just at the T.J.Maxx in Mishawaka and there were men in there who attempted to steal Eva. I believe there were multiple men inside the store who were in on it together. I made a note of the details I could and left immediately. Police have been notified. KEEP YOUR BABIES CLOSE!!!!"

NewsCenter 16's Travis Robinson spoke with the mother and police about what happened.

Police can't confirm the mom's fears of an attempted abduction, but they say it's still a worrisome situation.

What Craig said she experienced inside of T.J. Maxx definitely sounds scary. A strange man comes up to her and starts bombarding her with questions.

"'What's the price of this? What's the price of this? What's the price of this? What's the price of this?' Trying to divert my attention away from my daughter, who, at that moment, had slipped away from my eyesight," Craig said.

Looking around for her daughter, Craig worried she might be in danger.

"I saw another gentleman at the end of the aisle then approaching my daughter," Craig said. "They noticed I saw what was going on, I grabbed my daughter, they bolted."

Her thought was that these two men could have been trying to abduct her daughter.

"I believe that they were possibly a team of human traffickers."

After reviewing the security footage from T.J Maxx, police say there isn't a crime here. The girl wasn't touched and the men never said anything to her.

"He was at the very end of the aisle and she was probably in between both of us," Craig said. "I can't say anything other than the fact that my motherly instincts just knew that that was just their intentions...If you're ever uneasy in a situation like this, you're probably uneasy for a reason."

Just because police are ruling this incident not a crime, doesn't mean there wasn't an intent there. Police say it's still a very good reminder to keep an eye on your kids and know there are people out there who would hurt them.

"Be cautious everywhere you go," Craig said. "Be aware of the people who are around you, be aware of the people you're associating yourself with. You can never be too careful."

Police say they didn't get the call about what happened until Craig later in the day. They say if there is a legitimate concern about something like this, call right away, so they can get to the store while everyone involved is still there.