Police close to finding suspect who solicited 12-year-old
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | January 16,2013
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Police are close to identifying the suspect who allegedly solicited a 12-year-old girl on Monday near the Springfield Health Center on River Street.
According to Springfield Police Sergeant Robert Simmons, several youths and an off-duty state trooper recognized the man who approached the girl. The group went to police after the alert went out about the man.
Simmons said Springfield Police are familiar with the suspect and have dealt with him before. They are awaiting the parents’ permission to speak to the girl.
“Right now, the child doesn’t have much as far as what we need to charge someone for a crime or sexual act,” Simmons said. “She basically heard, ‘Come with me, there’s money in it’ and she didn’t know if it was money for her or money for him. But there was money involved, he mumbled something to her and she believed there was sexual connotation.”
The girl got away from the man and he followed her for a tenth of a mile. She then crossed River Street and the man walked away toward downtown Springfield.
The man is in his 20s, 5 feet 10 inches in height and thin with light brown or red frizzy hair. He was also wearing a dark blue coat and dark pants at the time, according to Simmons.
“The description was pretty much dead on. If the girl cannot articulate what he did, we will go out and interview the alleged suspect,” Simmons said.
Anyone with more information should call Simmons at 885-2113.