Investigation clears “man in van”

Local News

Urbana, Ill. (WCIA) — Updated: 6:30 p.m., 5/24/17, Wednesday

Urbana, Ill. (WCIA) — A man arrested in connection with an attempted child abduction has been cleared of the crime.

The Champaign County Sheriff’s office says there’s no probable cause to believe the crime even happened. But the family is standing behind their child’s story. The family and the sheriff’s office don’t agree on what happened Saturday night. The sheriff says the crime didn’t happen. He says the whole thing was a misunderstanding. 

Heather Burch is the mother of the girl who said a man in a white van grabbed her arm. She says, “I’m raging, I want to puke. I’m disgusted to know that he was able to touch my daughter and run us off the road.”  

Two kids were riding bikes on Saturday, in the 300-block of Glenn Drive in Urbana. The girl said her friend pulled out his pocket knife and the man let her go and drove away. But deputies don’t believe that’s how it played out.

Dan Walsh, the Champaign County Sheriff says, “These kids did not know the reason he pulled up there is because he was staying there. It’s not that he was after them at all and then after that I think people from both parties made certain assumptions about what was going on that was just not accurate.”

Sheriff Walsh believes the kids misunderstood what happened. He says the children were concerned when the van pulled up next to them, not knowing the driver was trying to park because he lives in the area. But Burch is still worried for her child.

“We told the cops everything and they just did not do their jobs properly. They don’t care. That’s truly what I think it is. They don’t care. She’ll never get over this. We’ll never get over this. This is the most disgusting thing ever and he got away with it. He got away with it.”

The sheriff’s office says there’s no probable cause to show any crime, similar to those allegations, ever happened.

Burch says, “My daughter is tore up. My daughter is scared to go outside. My daughter is not a liar.”

We asked the sheriff’s office if Todd Milner grabbed the arm of the 12 year old as she alleged. They had no further comment. 

Even though Milner was cleared of this crime, he was arrested on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated charge of assault.

The Champaign County Sheriff’s office says they take all calls about criminal activity very seriously. They continue to encourage anybody who sees suspicious behavior to call 911 and report it. 

Original: 3:00 p.m., 5/24/17, Wednesday

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Authorities have determined a man in a van was not trying to kidnap or abduct either of two children riding bikes.

The incident on Glenn Drive, in Scottswood, Saturday evening, had many concerned for the safety of children in the neighborhood.

Authorities say an investigation determined the children became concerned when the van slowly approached them and stopped very near them.

Officials say the children did not know the driver was a resident of a home they were near. They had no way of knowing he intended to park his van on the street or very near where the children were playing.

Investigators say “What occurred after that was various parties operating on incorrect assumptions.” 

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