Monroe police: Social media abduction posts hinder investigation

Police investigate 2 child enticement reports

A social media message that went viral in Monroe is causing problems in an investigation involving child enticement, Monroe police said.

Monroe police said they are investigating two suspicious reports of adult contact with children.

The initial report Saturday came from Melissa Rogge, who also posted about the incident on her Facebook page. She said a dark-green sedan with tinted windows approached her 4-year-old daughter, and the driver got out of the car to ask if the little girl was OK.

In the days to follow, multiple users on Facebook shared her information. Postings on Facebook and other social media have clouded the investigation because they have prompted phone calls and tied up police resources with false leads, police said.

“And then the story has expanded into things that are no longer factual,” said Monroe Police Chief Fred Kelley. “So we get a lot of calls about, ‘Can you check into this?’ Or, ‘I saw that.’ So we’re running on a lot of leads that really are a dead end.”

“I think it is a serious situation that people need to be aware of and watch their children,” said Rogge. “And to add stuff that’s false, I don’t see why people want to do that.”

In a second incident, which happened Wednesday morning, police said a male driver also in a green sedan asked a 7-year-old girl in the 600 block of 17th Avenue if she needed a ride home. The girl ran off.

In both cases, the parents waited for some time before calling police.

Police are investigating to see whether the incidents are related because the vehicle descriptions in both cases are similar.

Investigators are looking into files to see if they’ve had any prior contacts with dark-green sedans with tinted windows, but so far, police said they are still looking for more specific, detailed information.