Porter County Sheriff's Office

What's Happening at The Porter County Sheriff's Office


DNR Asks for Help

In Identifying Male Suspect In Abduction Attempt At Dunes State Park In Chesterton

Please look at this picture closely and call the
DNR Law Enforcement Office with any tips.


Can you Identify This Man??


Head View Of Suspect

Please Note The Unusual Watch
Or Wristband He is Wearing



BY BOB KASARDA Times Staff Writer
Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2002
CHESTERTON -- Police have released a photograph of a man they believe attacked three young girls Tuesday afternoon at the Indiana Dunes State Park. The man appeared on the edge of a photograph taken by the sister of one of the girls attacked, said Bob Cauffman, conservation officer with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Cauffman worked with state police Wednesday to enhance the image before distributing it to the media in hopes it will help to identify and locate the man. The attacks occurred shortly after 1 p.m. just east of the bathhouse, said the mother of two 11-year-old girls targeted in the attacks.
The Hobart woman, who asked not to be identified, said her daughters had run up the dune while playing with two other girls and spotted the man along the way. They said hello, she said, but the man did not respond until coming up behind them a few minutes later.
"He told the girls to sit down and if they didn't sit down, he was going to hurt them," she said. The man proceeded to push one of the girls down on the sand and hold her feet, her mother said. He also knocked down the second girl and attempted to hold her with his own feet, but she broke free and screamed as she ran away. The man kicked the first girl in the thigh as she struggled to break free, yet he quickly gave up and ran away from the scene, "They came running down in sheer terror," the mother said. The entrance to the park was closed following the attack, but the mother said it was not done soon enough to prevent the man from escaping. One witness believes she saw the man near a red vehicle, but it is not clear whether he used it to flee, Cauffman said. The park entrance was closed for about five minutes in response to a report of a couple girls missing, he said. It was reopened when the girls were located, he said, but cars were checked for the next several hours as visitors left the park. Security at the park remains high, he said. A crudely built structure, dug out under tree roots, was discovered in the area of the attack, Cauffman said. It is not known if it was associated with the attacker. The man responsible for the attacks was described by Cauffman as being between the ages of 50 and 60, between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet 3 inches in height, and weighing between 200 and 225 pounds. He has grayish hair, and was wearing blue jean shorts, sunglasses and either a shirt or towel around his neck at the time of the attack. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the DNR offices in Michigan City at (219) 879-5710. Whether the man is caught or not, the Hobart mother said her days of taking her children to the beach are over and she does not plan to let them out of her sight. "Until I get trust, it will be me and them all the time," she said. Other than a bruise from being kicked, the mother and Cauffman said the three girls suffered no physical injuries from the attacks. But the incident has left a mark, the mother said. "It's something they will never get over," she said.

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