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Kings RCMP investigating report of stranger approaching Canning girl on trail behind school

Kings District RCMP are investigating following a report that this 10-year-old Glooscap Elementary School student was approached by an unknown male on the trail system behind the school Oct. 3.
Kings District RCMP are investigating following a report that this 10-year-old Glooscap Elementary School student was approached by an unknown male on the trail system behind the school Oct. 3.

CANNING - A Canning mother is looking for answers after receiving word that her child had an unsettling encounter on a wooded trail behind Glooscap Elementary School.

Kelly Butler says her 10-year-old daughter, Rana, told her she was separated from the group during the school’s Terry Fox Run Oct. 3, and an unknown male approached her on the trail and reached for her.

“You wouldn’t think that something like that is going to happen in Canning. It’s an area where everybody knows everybody.”

Butler said Rana ran to safety, but she appeared to be quite shaken that evening. Rana described the stranger as a tall, white male wearing dark blue jeans with stained knees, work boots and a grey, zip-up hoodie.

“I was watching her a little bit and she was very timid, very scared.”

Const. Kelli Gaudet of the Kings District RCMP confirmed that the incident in question remains under investigation. She said there have not been any similar complaints reported in the Canning area, or elsewhere in the county.

“This is an isolated case for all of our detachments in Kings,” she stressed.

Asked for safety tips, Gaudet said it is important to teach children how to be smart around strangers. She recommends encouraging kids to always walk with someone they know, avoid accepting gifts or rides from unfamiliar adults, and run to safe place in the event that something doesn’t seem right.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to look out for, and care for, our kids,” she said.

As for Butler, her mind is still spinning at the thought of someone unfamiliar approaching her child on the trail behind the elementary school.

“A lot of people have access to that trail,” she said, noting that there are several entry points on the public trail system.

“I do find that with that trail being so occupied with people that maybe they should have gates or something there.”

Butler praised school staff for being understanding and supportive throughout the ordeal, and added that she hopes parents will see this as an opportunity to talk to their kids about stranger danger.

“There’s a lot of young kids that I see that aren’t supervised… even outside of school time, and it just makes you kind of think . You’ve really got to keep your kids close,” she said.

“I like to think that maybe it was just somebody that just noticed she was lost and was trying to talk to her and help her… but it could have been something really bad.”

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