Sheriff’s Office: Man tried to lure child into vehicle at Washougal bus stop

Skamania County deputies seeking public's help to find suspect; vehicle reportedly heading toward Washougal River Road from Canyon Creek Road around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning

Police say they are looking for a man who reportedly tried to lure an 11-year-old girl into his vehicle at a Washougal bus stop Wednesday morning. 

The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office said the Canyon Creek Middle School student was waiting for her bus around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, near the 2000 block of Canyon Creek Road, when a man pulled up, brandished a firearm and attempted to lure the girl into his vehicle before allegedly fleeing after seeing other cars approaching. 

The girl reported the incident to a Canyon Creek staff member, who called 911. 

Skamania County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect is described as a white, adult male with a medium build, light brown hair, facial hair, wearing camouflage clothing and a dark green or black baseball cap. He was reportedly driving a newer black or dark-color vehicle, possibly a sedan or a smaller, hatchback-style sport utility vehicle (SUV).  

The sheriff’s office said deputies conducted a search but could not locate the suspect or vehicle. 

After learning about the incident, Washougal School District officials placed Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School and Canyon Creek Middle School into a modified lockdown until 9:10 a.m. Wednesday morning. 

“Officers were on site as part of an investigation taking place in the area near the school this morning and ensured that students and staff were kept safe,” Washougal School District officials stated in a Dec. 8 Facebook post about the incident. “Teachers and students inside the building continued classroom activities during the lockdown, and both schools released at the regular time.”

Officers told school district officials “that there is no known threat to the school campus at this time.”

The district stated that the Skamania County deputies will “have an increased presence at Cape Horn-Skye and Canyon Creek, and in the vicinity near the school, each day this week as they continue their investigation.”

Law enforcement officials are working with a forensic artist to produce a sketch for the public to try to identify a suspect, and have been talking to neighbors in the area near the bus stop and are asking residents in the vicinity to check their security cameras for footage taken along Canyon Creek Road between 7 and 8 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, that might show a black or dark-color sedan or smaller SUV-style vehicle. 

The vehicle was last seen Wednesday morning before 8 a.m. traveling toward Washougal River Road from the 2000 block of Canyon Creek Road in Washougal. 

The sheriff’s office released a sketch of the suspect on Friday, Dec. 10. Law enforcement officials say their investigation is ongoing, and urge the public to contact the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office with any information related to this incident by calling 509-427-9490.