Col. Kevin Milton, U.S. Army Garrison Commander for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, reported Friday there was no evidence to corroborate rumors that someone had attempted to abduct children on the installation.
During a press conference held outside military police headquarters, Milton began his remarks by explaining that the safety and welfare of Stewart-Hunter families, especially children, is a high priority with the installation’s leadership and military police force, and that every allegation or rumor is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
As background to this investigation, he said that, on Jan. 25, a military police patrol had spotted four juveniles in an area on post one wouldn’t expect to find elementary school-age children. When they were asked what they were doing in that area, the children told MPs that someone had tried to abduct them.
Milton said although the investigation continues, and the military police have stepped up patrols in the area where the alleged attempted abduction supposedly occurred, investigators believe there was no attempted abduction. He said none of the children’s stories matched, and none of their descriptions of the alleged suspect matched.
Milton said he had called for the press conference in response to comments on Facebook that have fueled rumors of an alleged abduction attempt.
“We’re putting out the facts as we know them. If someone knows anything that can contribute to this investigation, please let us know,” he said. “I am satisfied that (military police investigators) have exhausted every lead regarding this alleged abduction attempt.”
Milton reiterated that even though they believe the children were simply trying to get out of explaining why they were in an area their parents didn’t know about, military police would continue their investigation.
Standing ready to answer questions with Milton were Installation Provost Marshal Lt. Col. Frances E. Fullard, Assistant Chief of Police Maj. Donnie Lucas and Directorate of Emergency Services Director Julie A. Herrmann.
A question was posed to Lucas about the children’s descriptions of the alleged suspect, but he added nothing to what Milton already had explained. There was no evidence to corroborate the children’s stories, Lucas said.