Mt. Rainier High parents on alert after student abducted last week


On Tuesday (Jan. 20), a letter was sent home to parents of Mt. Rainier High School students, warning them of two recent incidents – one of which was an actual abduction attempt.

The abduction happened near the school, when a student was walking between Midway and Pacific.

“Thankfully, the student is safe,” reads the letter.

The suspect in that incident was described as a mid-teens male, medium build, 5’6″ tall and wearing a green hoodie.

The second incident involved a student being followed by a man in a car. The student was able to run home and report the incident. The suspect in that incident was described as a tall, thin adult male with a shaved head or very short hair. The vehicle resembled an older, blue Ford Crown Victoria with shiny rims.

We contacted representatives at both Highline Public Schools and the Des Moines Police Department, but neither would offer any further comment or information on these incidents.

Here’s the text of the full letter, signed by Principal Julie Hunter:

January 20, 2015

Dear Mount Rainier Families:

We want to make you aware of two situations that occurred last Thursday and Friday near school.

  • A Mount Rainier student was abducted while walking between Midway and Pacific. Thankfully, the student is safe.
    • The suspect in this situation is a mid-teens male, medium build, 5’6” wearing a green hoodie.
  • Another Mount Rainier student was followed by a man in a car. He eventually got out of his vehicle. The student ran home and reported the incident.
    • The suspect in this case is a tall, thin adult male with a shaved head or very short hair. The vehicle resembles an older, blue Ford Crown Victoria with shiny rims.

The Des Moines Police Department is investigating both incidents. Both the Des Moines Police and Highline Security will have additional staff in the area at release time.

This is an opportunity to have a discussion with your children reminding them of these precautions while walking to and from school.

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Walk with a friend whenever possible.
  • If anyone approaches you or you feel threatened, report it immediately to a trusted adult.

We know this kind of situation can be alarming. Our students’ safety is of the utmost importance and we encourage you to talk with your children.

Time did not permit us to draft, print and distribute this letter on Friday due to early release but we did sent out a notification on the mobile App. It is encouraged that all parents download the free mobile app to ensure parents get information such as this quickly.

If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me at 206.631.7000.

Julie Hunter


8 Responses to “Mt. Rainier High parents on alert after student abducted last week”
  1. Kari says:

    I love, NOT, how this wasn’t sent until TODAY when it happened last week. I’d have like to have known right away..

    Hope they catch these people.

  2. MR Parent says:

    My student has not received this letter nor was she alerted to these incidents. I receive district and school communications in duplicate or triplicate already and refuse to download the mobile app. Why wasn’t this letter distributed through Peachjar?

  3. Burien Resident says:

    So that would be an attempted abduction, right? Unless, did he get the student fully in the car and then student was able to escape?

    • Scott Schaefer says:

      From what we understand, the student was actually abducted for a short period of time.

      No more details were released though…

  4. Tracey says:

    Just want to point out regarding complaints about the school districts notification process, is that the police knew about these incidents first! Is it not up to our city and our police to notify residents of things like this as soon as possible? Not just the kids at Mt. Rainier or Pacific could be put at risk, other children in other DM schools could be at risk as well. Where do you think the school districts got the information from? The police! Why didn’t the city call waterland blog or King 5 and put out an alert. I think criticism of the school district is misplaced.

  5. Steve says:

    There was an assembly at Mt. Rainier later the same day, and the students weren’t told to watch out on their way home. It also sounds like there was a delay in reporting the incident to the police. The District has some explaning to do on this.

  6. Don Wasson says:

    Maybe the school district was too busy trying to pass a bond?

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