ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- A detective has been assigned to investigate after a stranger in a truck was seen yesterday trying to contact a child.
According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the incident happened in the Woodlands subdivision at Fleming Island Plantation.
No Peace for Predators, a community action group created in the wake of Somer Thompson's death to raise awareness of child predators, is warning parents through its Facebook page to be vigilant following two separate incidents Monday.
Somer disappeared in October 2009 while walking home from Grove Park Elementary. She was found days later dead in a Georgia landfill. Jarred Harrell is awaiting trial in her kidnapping and death.
According to the NPFP Facebook page, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., a group of neighborhood boys saw a dark truck driving slowly down the street in the Woodlands, which is near the YMCA and Thunderbolt Elementary.
In another incident later that evening around 9 p.m., someone in a dark truck with its headlights off tried to talk to an 8-year-old who was walking about three houses from his home, according to the boy's mother, who wanted to remain anonymous to protect her child.
The person in the vehicle was trying to get the boy into the vehicle, according to the boy's mother. "He said he was an older man, maybe heavy, not a lot of hair."
The child's mother said children saw the truck three different times in the neighborhood. She also described another incident which involved a different child Monday afternoon.
"He pulled up and kind of stopped abruptly and started to back up close to where this other child was, scared the kid and he ran into a neighbor's house," the mother said.
The child's mom said she is proud of her son for doing the right thing.
No other parents were aware of the incident, but one said today that she was glad word was getting out to warn them via Facebook.
First Coast News