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Students’ tale of an abduction not verified

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LEHI — A Lehi elementary school was placed on "lockdown" for two hours Friday while police investigated a reported child abduction that has not been substantiated.

While officers interviewed students and teachers at Sego Lily Elementary, 550 E. 900 North, the school didn't allow anyone to come in or go out.

During that time, teachers verified that all the students who were present in the morning were still at the school when the abduction was to have occurred, said district spokeswoman Jerrilyn Mortensen.

Lehi Police Sgt. Jeff Swenson said a group of students were playing on a field during recess about 12:15 p.m. when a ball went over a fence. Three students told police that a girl climbed the fence to retrieve the ball, he said.

After getting the ball, the students told police, the girl walked northbound instead of returning to the field.

Then, the students said, a man in a green truck snatched the girl. The students said she screamed while the man took her, Swenson said.

"One (student) was a good witness," Swenson said. "The other two didn't see as much. They just saw bits and pieces of it."

The children told school officials who called police. They also called children in early from recess. Students returned to classrooms, where teachers counted heads, Mortensen said.

All of Sego Lily's 930 students, who come in school in two phases to accommodate an extended-day schedule, were in class at the time of the reported incident.

The lockdown ended at 2:15 p.m., dismissal time for students in the morning session, Mortensen said.

"We have called homes where we have students who are ill and talked with family members," Mortensen said. "Sometimes we've only gotten answering machines. . . . No parents are reporting a child is missing."

Swenson could not offer an explanation for what the students saw. He doubts they invented the story as a prank.

"The detectives are still doing some interviews," he said. "The one witness (who saw the most), she has been pretty consistent with her story."

E-mail: lhancock@desnews.com