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Police look for man who posed as officer to abduct, assault 9-year-old girl in Massillon

Posted at 12:30 PM, Sep 27, 2016

Massillon police are looking for a man who abducted a 9-year-old girl in Massillon and then sexually assaulted her.

Police said it happened around 6 p.m. Monday near 2nd Street NE and Cherry Road NE as the girl was walking home from the library. The man earned the girl's trust by pretending be an officer, according to Detective Dave McConnell.

"She just said that he had some type of vest on and that he did say that he was a police officer. He didn't have a uniform on. He just stated that he was a police officer and that her parents told him that she was reported missing, that she had to go with him," McConnell said.

According to police, the stranger forced the girl into a pickup truck, took her a short distance away and assaulted her near St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

The girl was able to get away, walked home and reported what happened to her stepfather.

The pastor of St. Paul's, Ronald Jefferson, said he hopes the attacker is captured soon and brought to justice.

"Predators are still around us. It's a troubled world and we're part of it," Jefferson said.

Police are looking for a black Ford F-150 pickup truck between the years of 2004-2008 that had skulls on the side and the word "Ohio" in the back window. The truck is a "gunmetal grey" or dark grey, and the sub model is an STX. It also has dark tinted windows and a black tool box mounted in the back.

The man is described as a middle-aged white male, thin to medium build with a scruffy beard and brown hair. 

The child was transported to a local hospital in stable condition. Police said she had injuries to her face. 

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 330-830-1754.

McConnell notified the FBI about the case, but at this point, it does not appear to be connected to a child abduction in Cleveland and similar attempted abductions in Lorain County.

"The circumstances don't appear to be similar, but obviously, we will keep an open mind until we get both or this individual in custody," said FBI spokesperson Vicki Anderson.