JOPLIN, MO.--- Within the last six months, two young Southwest Missouri girls have been kidnapped and murdered. One girl had no clue who her abductor was while the other did. Now police urge parents to teach their children how to recognize dangerous situations and get out of them safely. KSN's Sydney Ryan spoke to law enforcement and shares some safety tips. Parents we spoke to say they are on edge after this week's abduction and murder of 10-year-old Hailey Owens of Springfield. It comes just six months after the kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Adriaunna Horton of Golden City.
"Just walking down the street you could meet somebody and they could be the wrong person," said Akimma Caswell, Joplin Resident.
Authorities encourage parents to teach children how to identify dangerous situations and come up with a set of rules for them to follow.
"Obviously, you don't want to make kids paranoid or families paranoid, but they need to discuss things to do in case they are abducted or attempted to be abducted," said Captain Derek Walrod, Jasper County Sheriff's Office.
Hailey was abducted as she was walking to a friend's house. A stranger, now identified as Craig Woods, lured her near his car and then grabbed her. She was later found murdered in his home. Police say in these types of situations kids need to draw attention to themselves to get help.
"Run, scream hard, get somebody's attention, just get away from them," said Captain Walrod.
In Adriaunna's case, her alleged abductor, Bobby Bourne, was someone the family knew. She was found two days after being taken from a Golden City park. Bourne has plead not guilty to kidnaping, rape and murder charges. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him. Police say it's important for parents to tell their children who they can and cannot trust. Some parents even have a system when deciding who their kids should get rides from.
"We would like for them to use a password before they get in the car with anyone, being someone they know or they don't know," said Vicki Hornbeck, Webb City Resident.
A few, simple rules can be the difference in your child's safety.
"The main thing is that they need to talk, get a plan together with their children," said Captain Walrod.
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