Photo taken by mother of suspect vehicle after her son was approached. The incident was later determined to be a misunderstanding. (Credit: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)
A break-up is now believed to be the reason a man approached a 13-year-old boy, rather than an abduction attempt.
Authorities were called to a neighborhood in Golden Saturday evening by the teen's mother, who snapped a photograph of the suspect sitting in a blue car shortly after he approached her son. The car matched the description of the suspect vehicle in two attempted kidnappings in Arvada, inciting a manhunt in the Denver area.
After seeing his vehicle on the news, the suspect turned himself in to explain himself, a spokesman with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office told 11 News. The suspect was released after authorities determined his story checked out.
According to JCSO spokesman Mark Techmeyer, the suspect had just broken up with his girlfriend, who lived near the 13-year-old boy. The suspect, 18, was parked near his ex's home and called the boy over to his car to ask him to get his ex-girlfriend to come out.
The boy backed away from the vehicle, Techmeyer said, not understanding the request and nervous at being approached by a stranger. The 18-year-old then got out of his car and began walking towards the boy to try and explain what he wanted the boy to do. The boy ran to his home and told his mother, who immediately called authorities.
Sheriff's deputies and police from Arvada interviewed the suspect after he turned himself in. After comparing his story with the interviews conducted with the others involved in the incident, authorities determined he was not dangerous and let him go.
The situation boiled down to the older teen making a poor decision during a time when authorities are particularly hyper-vigilant about child predators, Techmeyer said. "I think everyone investigating handled this situation appropriately."