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UPDATE: LaPorte County police release more info in attempted child abduction

This stock photo shows what the suspect's van looks like // Photo provided by police

UPDATE: We are learning more this morning about a man who reportedly tried to kidnap a baby by stuffing the child in a duffel bag.

This happened in LaPorte County near Fish Lake Thursday.

We have now learned that the suspect was driving a van like the one pictured above. A 1990s-model Ford Aerostar -- either silver or gray.

And although police don't have a sketch or picture of the suspect. They're providing a much more detailed description.

He is described as a white male in his 40s. He has brown, scruffy hair. He is around 5 feet 11 inches tall, 200 lbs and has an athletic build.

Police say he has tan, leathery skin with crow's feet around his eyes.

At the time when he tried to take the baby he was wearing a white T-shirt, gray camo shorts, brown work boots and white socks.

If you have information, call the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office at 219-326-7700.


ORIGINAL STORY: A Fish Lake family reports a man tried to abduct their 1-year-old child Thursday evening. That is according to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators believe the attempted abduction occurred in the 7400 E block of State Road 4 at about 6 p.m.

The parents told police the man tried to put the child into a duffel bag.

It reportedly all happened right in front of the child's father. Police say the father ran after the man and fought him until he let go of the boy and ran off.

Investigators say the suspect was described as a white man with beard stubble wearing a white t-shirt and gray camouflage shorts. He was reportedly driving a silver or gray minivan that looked to be a 1990s model.

Family reacts

"It didn't really hit me today until I went to work."

Less than a week before her son's first birthday, Beth Kraus says a stranger tried to steal him in broad daylight -- right in front of her husband.

"A man was parked across the street in a van," said Kraus. "He was there for about 10 minutes and then he pulled into our driveway, walked up to my husband. Approached him and told him that he needed water because his radiator was bad. My husband obliged and said 'OK, I'll get you some water.'"

Inside her husband bent over to get water, only looking away for a second.

"As he looked back, he saw this man grabbing my son and attempting to run off with him and put him in a duffel bag.

Her husband immediately ran outside after him.

"He did punch the man, knocked him to the ground. He dropped my son. My son got up and started walking away. My husband grabbed my son and ran him into the house."

"All types of scams and all types of crimes start with some form of distraction, and this is a typical case of that," said Capt. Mike Kellems with the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office.

Kraus says she's glad her husband and baby boy are safe -- hoping something like this doesn't happen to anyone else.

"Maybe we can find this guy and get him off the streets so we doesn't put other kids in danger, because this is horrifying."

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