13 Feb 2016

Hunt continues for man who snatched five-year-old

9:51 am on 13 February 2016

A massive police hunt continues today in Palmerston North for the man who snatched a five-year-old girl off the street yesterday morning as she walked to school.

Shekinah Relies-Skipper

Shekinah Relies-Skipper Photo: SUPPLIED / NZ Police

Shekinah Relies-Skipper was dragged away from her sisters and bundled into a white car on Burns Ave at 8.30am yesterday morning.

She was found unharmed by a passerby after being left on another street two and a half hours later.

Manawatu Area Commander Sarah Stewart said police were interested in any sightings of a white sedan or anything unusual, particularly in the Shamrock Street and Hind Place areas.

"Even if you don't think it's important, let us know and let us decide that", Inspector Stewart said.

A team of at least 30 police are working on the case.

Today investigation teams will resume going door-to-door and reviewing CCTV footage from the area.

The incident has shocked the local community.

One mother, who was at Te Kura o Takaro Primary School to pick up her nine-year-old daughter this afternoon, said it was worrying to know the man was still at large.

"I'll be mostly taking my daughter to school, making sure she gets in that gate. It's just for her safety," she said.

"You don't expect that to happen around here - or anywhere really."

The woman said parents were told that all children were to go home directly after school.

Inspector Stewart said yesterday it had been an incredibly traumatic event and upsetting for everyone involved, but her family were incredible and very supportive of the police investigation.

Inspector Stewart said police did not know what the man looked like, but that he was not known to Shekinah.