Dubuque Police dispel rumor about sex trafficking abduction attempt at mall

Published: Jun. 29, 2017 at 4:54 PM CDT
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The Dubuque Police Department is scrambling to correct a story about an alleged abduction that got warped after it circulated through social media for the past week.

Police say that on Saturday, June 24, a woman and her 8-year-old daughter were at Kennedy Mall when an unknown female began conversing with the girl, offering to buy her a gift of her choice in the store they were in. The mother and daughter left the store but were again approached by the unknown woman in another part of the mall when the woman tried to give the girl the item she had purchased for her.

The mother took the girl away from the unknown female and left the area. Neither saw the unknown female again.

Following the incident, the mother saw a social media post about human trafficking occurring at the Kennedy Mall, so she reported her encounter to the police. After the police report, the woman's story was posted on social media where it was embellished and widely spread.

However, police say there wasn't enough evidence to correlate the woman's encounter with the information about human trafficking at the mall. Police contacted security officials at Kennedy Mall for the human trafficking information they were alleged to have, but they responded that they were unaware of any information or intelligence about human trafficking in their mall.

Still, Police would like to remind the public that each individual must be accountable for the safety of their dependents.

Anyone with credible information about human trafficking or any other crime in their community should immediately contact law enforcement.