New details of attempted school abduction released

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SOLANA BEACH, Calif. — Investigators released new information about the attempted abduction of a 7-year-old girl at Skyline Elementary School in Solana Beach and a detailed description of the man who tried to kidnap her.

The attack happened Monday as school was just letting out at 606 Lomas Santa Fe Drive at 3 p.m. Deputies said the predator was dressed up as a baseball player and used some kind of ruse to start a conversation with the 2nd grader.  He then grabbed her, covering her mouth and threatening to hurt her if she screamed.

The little girl fought back and screamed anyway, alerting teachers, parents and administrators. Witnesses said the predator ran from teachers who chased him off.

Tuesday, police released a description and sketch of the would-be abductor. He is described as a white man in his 40s, 6 feet tall, about 200 lbs. with an athletic build. He was last seen in a green hat and a red baseball jersey. Witnesses say he was driving a black Ford Flex with a silver panel on the back.

“When you don’t know what to do, always fly away.  This little girl couldn’t have done it better!” said Milena Sellers Phillips.

Phillips is the author of the school safety program Fly Away.   The program is about a bird named Stellar Jay and Maurice the cat, who tries every trick to entice Jay.!jsck-safety-program/c1c2b

“So,  the main purpose of our program is to teach kids to keep your distance, stay alert, and fly away.”

The program shared in San Diego schools, will also soon be in book form.  Phillips said the key message is Stranger Danger.

“Physically, do not let a stranger close that distance, if they an arm’s reach away from you they are way too close,” explained Phillips.

Meantime, Chelsea’s Light Foundation is putting the Solana Beach stranger search on blast.  A sketch of the suspects sits front and center on the foundation’s Facebook page.

“We feel it’s imperative to share stories within California and across the nation,’ said Kristie Grover, Executive Director.

Grover said what is most important now is for everyone to share, not just the suspect’s picture, but what happened.

“What sexual predators are counting on is our silence, because if we don’t talk about it they get away with their crimes,” said Grover.

In 1993, it was this same kind of crime that took the life of Milena’s 9-year old son Jonathan.

“My son was killed when he just got out of school,” said Milena.

March 23rd marks the day Jonathan Sellers and his friend 13-year old Charlie Keever went on a bike ride in Palm City and never came home.  Milena wonders if there had been this same type of community response then, could it have saved her son.

“It just breaks my heart.  That’s why I’m doing this today , so my son’s death wasn’t in vain.”

Anyone who has any information is urged to call the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

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