UPDATE: No luck in Dowagiac search for possible kidnap victim


No more searches are scheduled for the girl that was reported to be abducted.

Crews have been searching for hours and they found nothing.

There still hasn't been anyone reported missing in the area.

About 50 people have been helping with the search efforts.

The weather today was proving to be a challenge.

Steve Grinnewald is the director of the Dowagiac Department of Public Safety and he says, "The problem is it's a very very densely wooded area. Very thick ground cover. There's lots of areas where people actually have to crawl under to get around."

4:30 p.m. UPDATE (Statement from Dowagiac Police Department):Dowagiac Police continues to investigate the possible abduction report from Wednesday night. Search teams made up of Dowagiac Fire Department members were sent to the location of the incident and searched a large wooded area during the day on Thursday and located nothing suspicious or out of the ordinary.

Another search team made up of fire fighters from Sister Lakes Fire Department and Keeler Township Fire Department assisted with searching an area near a gravel pit on Wilber Hill Rd. south of Dowagiac which is adjacent to the original search area. A thorough search was conducted with nothing being located.

Search crews were dealing with cold temperatures, heavy rain and wind during the searches conducted however completed a thorough search of all areas.

At this time, Dowagiac Police have received no further tips, leads or information about this incident and no one has been reported to police as missing. No further searches are scheduled at this time. If new or more information is obtained that requires a search this will be conducted immediately.

Investigators are continuing to check each tip and piece of information that is given to police to determine its involvement in this incident however as previously stated no new information has been received today. Police will continue to check all tips and ask anyone with information to contact police immediately.

1 p.m. UPDATE: We have an update from WSBT reporter James Fillmore, who is at the scene following the investigation into a reported kidnapping in Dowagiac. He says, "Another crew is getting ready to head out. They have extended the search area a bit just to make sure they are being thorough. Those who have already searched believe they have done all they can do in the areas they searched."

MIDDAY UPDATE: The Dowagiac Police/Fire Department issued this release just after 11 a.m.:"Investigators met this morning and have organized another search of the area which is being conducted at this time. Obviously weather is making this difficult however search crews are currently out searching. Detectives are following up on tips and information that is coming in, however no new information has been reported to police at this time. At this time there is no new information to report. We will keep all informed as information comes in and send out an update as soon as the search has been concluded."

Police tell us there is still no one reported as missing in the area.

They are now checking businesses that might have security cameras nearby as well as other businesses (fast food, gas stations, etc.) that were open at the time to see if any customers meet the description of who they are looking for.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police are on the lookout for a missing girl in Cass County this morning, and they say she could be in danger.

Dowagiac Public Safety Director Steven Grinnewald says around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, police received a tip from some young people who said they were playing in a parking lot in the area of the 500 block of Riverside Drive. They said they heard a girl yelling near the woods behind a building there.

The witnesses said they saw a male pull a female in the woods and may have had a handgun.

The suspect is described as white with brown hair, was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with writing on it, possibly saying "Aeropostale" and was wearing blue jeans.

The victim is said to be white with blonde, straight shoulder-length hair and was seen wearing a pink zip up sweater or sweatshirt.

Two people fitting those descriptions were later spotted near the area in a white Ford F-150 pickup. Police are investigating that tip.

The following release was issued by Steven Grinnewald, Dowagiac public safety director, this morning:

This message will serve as an update to the news release that was sent out by Cass County earlier tonight in reference to the reported abduction in Dowagiac.

Search teams conducted a ground search of several areas adjacent to Riverside Dr. behind the dentist office where the incident was reported to have occurred. Search teams conducted a search on foot through a large wooded area and were unable to locate anything. Officers conducted a neighborhood canvass of a large area and were unable to gain any new information.

Officers received a tip during the evening that a male and female wearing clothing similar to what was originally reported were observed in a white Ford F-150 pickup truck in the area near the location of this incident. The female in the truck was reported to be "younger" in age, possibly a teenager. The vehicle was reported to have left the area. This information is being investigated to determine if it is related to the original incident.

Investigators plan to continue the investigation in the morning and conduct follow-up searches of the area during daylight hours. At the time of this update there have been no reports of missing persons to police. Investigators have been in contact with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to communicate about this incident. This incident remains under investigation and Dowagiac Police request anyone with information to contact police immediately.

Dowagiac Police were assisted during this investigation by the Cass County Sheriff's Department, Michigan State Police, Pokagon Tribal Police Department, Dowagiac Fire Department, Wayne Township Fire Department, and Cass County CERT. All of these agencies will continue to coordinate and work together to investigate this incident.

As the investigation progresses information will be forwarded to the media.

Anyone with information should call 911 immediately.