CEDAR CITY, Utah -- Police have identified a suspect accused of trying to kidnap an 8-year-old girl Tuesday night at a truck stop in Cedar City. The man was questioned and released, but he remains the only suspect in the investigation.
The incident occurred around 7 p.m. Tuesday at a Love's Travel Stop.
The little girl was waiting in her dad‘s big rig while he went inside to grab some food.
She told police at one point a man jumped inside the cab from the driver's side and tried pulling her out. She said she fought back and kicked him several times before escaping out the passenger side, which is when he ran away.
She ran to her dad and they called police.
The child then gave a detailed description of the man and the truck he was driving. Police described the girl as a very credible witness.
Officers forwarded that information to the Utah Highway Patrol, and a short time later troopers spotted him in his truck on I-15 in Washington County and took him into custody.
He was brought back to Cedar City, where detectives interviewed him. Police said they released him due to a lack of physical evidence.
The case remains open as investigators wait on the return of DNA evidence. They said there are no other suspects or persons of interest at this time.
"It saddens me to hear that someone was nearly abducted. Thankfully she got away," said Ashley Lalus, a truck driver who works in the area. "It can be very scary because it is dangerous at night... Lock the doors. That’s the most important thing. Keep your doors locked when you’re not in the truck. "
"It’s not as safe as it used to be," said Jeff Jeffries, who drives his truck twice a week from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City "There isn’t the camaraderie amongst truck drivers there used to be."