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Child abduction rumors appear unfounded

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Rumors concerning attempts to kidnap children in the parking lots of two Dollar General stores and in the parking lot of a Publix appear to be unfounded.

“Being that everyone at the office was not familiar with any such incidents, we had the patrol captain do some extensive research,” said Denise Moloney, public relations manager for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) on May 3. “His research revealed no such calls for service and/or reports about anything like this.”

The alleged incidents were described in Facebook postings on May 2, claiming that a woman and her male passenger in a “tan car with stolen Texas plates” allegedly attempted to kidnap a child in the parking lot of the Dollar General on County Line Road and Mariner Boulevard in Brooksville in late April. A similar incident allegedly took place in the parking lot of the Dollar General on County Line Road and Linden Drive in Spring Hill and at an unspecified location in a “Publix parking Lot.”

None of those who made the postings were available for comment.

According to Moloney, “In an abundance of caution,” the HCSO sent a deputy to the residence of the person who posted that someone tried to kidnap her daughter and that her husband thwarted the kidnapping “with a firearm.”

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“Upon arrival, deputies knocked on the door for 10 minutes or so, getting no response,” she said. “After about 10 minutes, a man exited the residence, refused to speak to the deputies, and left in his vehicle.”

Moloney said that deputies will revisit the residence to attempt to speak with the “mom” who actually made the media post “Just to be extra sure.”

Moloney also said that she would post the results of that conversation once she had the final information.

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