Cold cases catch attention of police

August 25, 2009 4:40:57 PM PDT
School is back in session and that means more children will be out and about, walking or riding bikes to and from school. Child predators could be targeting them. Some of the scariest cases are attempted abductions in which the suspects get away. Two recent cold cases have caught the attention of police.

While child abductions are down, the number of reported attempted abductions is on the rise. It's because parents are trusting their kids more and reporting it to police. Investigators are taking a close look at two cases in particular in hopes of bringing two dangerous attackers to justice.

Police call them child predators, two nameless men accused of attacking two young girls. Years later, they continue lurking in the shadows of society, perhaps waiting to strike again, as the trail to find them has grown cold.

"These guys that do abduct children, it's not gonna be the first if they get away with it," said HPD Officer Holly Whillock.

Whillock says it's been nine months since she's received so much as a phone call about the guy who investigators say back in April of 2007, abducted a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint while she was walking to school near South Acres and 8th Street in southeast Houston. She was taken to a shed behind a nearby church, where investigators say she was sexually assaulted.

"We had numerous leads, the public called us, (saying), 'I'm sure it's this guy. I'm sure it's this guy'," said Whillock. "Then we present the possible pictures to our victim and our victim doesn't identify them."

It's been almost three years since someone gave police a lead about another guy who investigators say kidnapped and then sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl near the 4300 block of Bennington in northeast Houston. On Tuesday, we went back to the neighborhood where it happened and showed residents a sketch.

"He look familiar. It's like I've seen him from somewhere," said resident Nicole Wilson. "His face, those eyes, this boy looks familiar."

They're two frightening attacks in two different parts of the city with striking similarities. In each case, the young victim who was targeted was walking alone.

"Just understand that bad things are gonna happen when children are alone," said Whillock.

Even though it's been a while, the hope is somebody knows something about the two men.

"Investigation is a lot of hard work with a little bit of luck," said Whillock. "This is where we need that little bit of luck from the public in helping identifying this stuff."

If a child says they felt threatened in a situation, police encourage parents to report it even if a crime has not occurred. A person who make a child uncomfortable today could end up committing something more sinister down the road.

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