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Highland teen escapes kidnapper

HIGHLAND — Walk in groups. Walk a consistent route. And let your parents know if you're not heading directly home after school.

Students who walk to school have heard the rules numerous times. But Monday they became more salient after a 14-year-old student escaped a man who forced her into a car.

Police continue to search for the man, described as 20-25 years old, with short blond hair, jeans, a red sweatshirt and red baseball cap. The vehicle he was driving is described as red with black interior, with two doors, small back windows and a broken arm rest inside the passenger door.

The girl, who has not been identified to protect her privacy, is a student at Mountain Ridge Junior High, 5525 W. 10400 North in Highland.

"She's a walking student," Alpine School District spokeswoman Jerrilyn Mortensen said. "It took place as she was walking. She lives two and a half to three blocks from school."

About 7:30 a.m., a man pulled up alongside her and told her to get inside, Lone Peak Police Sgt. Dave Boerner said.

The man then pulled the car in front of her and forced her inside at 5600 West and 10400 North, Boerner said.

The man drove west on 10400 North. He slowed for a stop sign at 6000 West, and the girl was able to get out of the car and head to school, Boerner said. She was not injured.

"She did everything right," Boerner said.

"She was able to get into the principal's office, and they called police," said Mortensen.

A message over Mountain Ridge's public address system described the incident to students and reminded those who walk about safety rules. The same announcement occurred at nearby elementary schools.

"We contacted the feeder schools and had them review safety measures with all the kids without trying to cause fear," Mortensen said.

Parents learned about the abduction, Mortensen said, through an electronic phone messaging system.


E-mail: lhancock@desnews.com