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Parents express concern after Clayton child safety incident

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Parents in the small community of Clayton, Illinois said it's scary to see it happen so close to home.

Wednesday night, Adams County Sheriff's Deputies said they were called around 6:30 P.M. to reports of man telling a child to get in his vehicle.

Adams County Deputies said they want parents to talk with their kids about how dangerous it is to talk with strangers, as they ramp up patrols to try and find who was driving that vehicle.

"It's you blink your eye and you miss this town, so you never thought something like that would happen here," said Clayton Mom Quinta Spears.

She said this has her thinking about how different the world is for her 1-year-old son, Jude, than it was for her.

"I used to play on my bike on the road by myself so it was unbelieveable when it happened," said Spears.

Adams County Deputy Jared Summers said there are some critical things you and your kids should know in case something like this happens where you live.

"Take off running and start yelling-- you can yell for help, do anything, just get out of that situation," said Deputy Summers, explaining how sometimes just getting away will be enough to keep them safe.

He said they're already ramping up patrols after this incident.

"First we try to beef up our patrol in the area, it's good to have descriptions of the vehicle," said Deputy Summers.

In this instance, he said the information on the vehicle is sparse, all they know is it was a silver sedan.

He said that's part of why if your kid finds themselves in a situation like what happened last night, it's important they get the attention of someone who can get that information.

"Like I said it's good to yell so other neighbors or people outside can see what's going on and possibly that neighbor could get that vehicle description," said Deputy Summers.

Spears said those are things she'll be telling Jude as he gets older.

"You can't take your eyes off them for one second anymore, you just never know what is ever going to happen," said Spears.

Deputy Summers said while the make, model, and especially any part of the license plate are the best identifiers, even small details like rust on the undercarriage or damage to the vehicle can help lead to them finding the suspect.

Sheriff's deputies said the vehicle was last seen leaving the area traveling West. They said if you know anything about the incident, to contact authorities.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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