Police investigating the suspected kidnapping of a child are exploring a second theory – that the boy was being told off by a parent.
Surrey Police launched a massive investigation after receiving reports that a young boy, aged around six or seven, was forced into a black van against his will.
But since the alleged incident, in Redhill on Thursday afternoon, they have not received any reports of missing children.
Detective Superintendent Chris Edwards admitted they are working on two theories.
One, he said, is that the incident is “exactly as portrayed and reported and that a child has been abducted from the roadside”.
The second, he added, is that the adult seen bundling the child into a black van was a relative or guardian and that they were involved in some kind of row with the boy.
Det Supt Edwards said: “The second theory we are operating, again this a heartfelt plea for anyone who may have information in support of it, if you were at that location and involved in an incident on Thursday with your own child or a child that you are connected to, we would urge you to come forward and make contact immediately so we can scale the investigation back and offer messages of reassurance to the public.”
Det Supt Edwards insisted that he has complete faith in the witness’s account of what they had seen despite the fact that nobody else has come forward to say they also saw the incident.
He said the witness was credible and that he had been spoken to more than once, but they have no idea if the ‘abductor’ was male or female.
He said that the child was forced against their will into the van but added that there had not been a struggle.
Police have had 130 calls from the public about the incident so far and continue to appeal for witnesses to come forward.
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