Vermont State Police said Monday that have found no trace of a young girl who supposedly ran off into the woods near the intersection of Route 4A and West Proctor Road.
Police said no clues were found during the search of the area and that a search of the car of the woman who reported the girl to police was similarly unproductive. Nor have any 6 or 7-year-old girls been reported missing in Vermont or the surrounding states.
“I can’t say with 100 percent certainty that there’s not a girl,” Detective Lt. Kevin Lane said Monday afternoon. “There’s still some leads and some tips out there that we’re pursuing. ... The case will stay open until we can resolve it, one way or the other.”
Police also said they were still hoping to make contact with the driver of a white truck with a white cap and Oregon license plates that was seen in the vicinity at the time.
“I think it started out because of the out-of-state plate,” Lane said of the truck’s significance. “You don’t see a lot of cars with Oregon plates.”
Lane also noted that the truck was likely in a position to see behind the abandoned building the girl reportedly ran behind. The driver is described as a white male, late 20s to early 30s, with dreadlocks.
Lane said a female motorist contacted police last week and described an encounter in which the girl got into her car and indicated a need for help.
“She ran out of the car,” Lane said. “We don’t necessarily know why.”
Police said the witness cooperated in the forensic examination of her car.
Rutland County Sheriff Stephen Benard, whose agency has participated in the search, said police get a number of calls whose credibility they have to evaluate.
“You’ve got to weigh everything,” he said. “You’ve got to weigh the demeanor of the complainant, the probability of what they’re complaining about, the totality of the circumstances. ... What compels this case in particular to the top of the list was the age of the victim. If it’s a juvenile or a vulnerable person, you can’t just look at that and dismiss it.”
Benard said reports are repeatedly assessed, starting with the dispatcher who takes the call and the officer who initially responds.
“Some you can say with a certainty they didn’t happen,” he said. “Others, you need to get right into it. With some of these, you need to disprove what happened.”
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