According to a witness on the original call through Bartow County Dispatch, the girl appeared to be between 13 and 15 years old, was carrying books and appeared to have been dragged into the vehicle. That statement was later changed.
Adairsville's Chief Robert Jones later said that the witness told authorities that the girl entered the vehicle -- described as an older box-style red Jeep Cherokee -- of her own free will. The girl was later seen trying to exit the vehicle but was held back by the male driver.
In an effort to try to find the girl, APD called for assistance from the Georgia and Federal Bureaus of Investigation. Bartow's Emergency Management Agency also helped in efforts by establishing a command post in the northern town.
Law enforcement personnel began a neighborhood canvass, which is defined by the FBI as a search around the victim's residence or last known location. After knocking on doors and combing the area, no results appeared. Due to 'no missing persons' reports having been filed during the time frame and through the night, authorities called off the canvass at 9 p.m. Tuesday, marking the situation up as a likely domestic disturbance.
"No one has reported their child as missing," Jones said, noting that without an identification of the juvenile or concerned parents or guardians stepping forward, the incident appeared to be a domestic issue. "If anything, this was a good training exercise for everyone."
According to the FBI, "in 76 percent of child abduction murders, the victim was killed within three hours of the reported abduction and in 89 percent of child abduction murders, the victim was killed within 24 hours."
Explaining why the neighborhood canvass is one of the most useful tools available to authorities, the FBI reports that the Behavioral Analysis Unit's Child Abduction Response Plan has determined that, in many cases, "the offender resided, worked, frequently visited or otherwise spent time in the immediate area of the abduction."
The girl involved in Tuesday's incident willingly entered the "suspect's" vehicle -- an action Cartersville Police warn against.
"One of the main things to remember though is NEVER, EVER get into a vehicle with someone you do NOT know, unless it marked police car and officer is wearing a uniform," CPD Lt. Mark Camp said. "Do not let someone talk you into getting into the car or truck."
CPD shared the website http://www.crime-safety-security.com/child-safety-kidnap.html. The site recommends that parents or guardians teach children to "do anything possible to escape from a kidnapper."
Tips listed under "stranger danger escape" methods include:
* Thrash, fight, bite and scream repeatedly.
* Shed a jacket or backpack that is grabbed. Drop any excess baggage slowing children down.
* Escape to a populated area and call the police. Kidnappers fear a public spectacle and may flee alone or witnesses may intervene.
* If there's a gun, ignore it and run. A gun is used to scare, rarely, if ever, to shoot a child.
* Get under a car (belly up) and hold onto the underside so the kidnapper cannot drag them out. If the kidnapper crawls under the car, get out on the other side.