Sheriff warns of suspected child predator approaching kids

Parents beware: There’s increased concern in Hannibal after the sheriff says parents have been reporting a suspected child predator approaching their kids.

A Hannibal couple says a man in a red truck approached their 17 year-old grandson at the bus stop across from their house Tuesday morning and asked him if he needed a ride.

“I’m just glad he was smart enough to say no than to get in that car,” the boy’s grandmother, Teresa Young said. “We might have never seen him again.”

The family posted a description of the man on Facebook as a warning. They were contacted by another woman who says her 16 year-old daughter was in the Walmart parking lot, with another teenage girl, when they saw the same man parked next to them exposing himself.

Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn says authorities are now checking their databases to try and match for a suspected child predator in the area.

“We also currently have investigators that are going to the stores to see if we can view any type of video tape,” Shinn said.

Shinn says the reports he got described white man in his mid-20s, driving a reddish-colored, late ’90s Ford Explorer. Thursday, detective Tyler Wheeler saysafter reviewing surveillance video, he found the vehicle was actually a ’90s Isuzu Amigo.

He also says they’re already looking towards prosecution.

“It was very evident to the young girls that the individual was exposing himself,” he added. “There definitely could be a charge there.”

The Youngs are urging all parents to keep a close eye on kids of any age when they’re getting on and off at bus stops.

“It happened that quick, just a flash,” the boy’s grandfather, James Young, said. “People’s kids can be taken just that quick. That concerns me.”