BURNING FORK – A Magoffin County mom reported a potential attempted kidnapping on Tuesday, November 10, with police still looking for a man fitting a description given by her son.
Amber Beatty, who lives in the Burning Fork area, posted a description of the incident on Facebook Tuesday night, explaining that her 11-year-old son, Jacob Prater, was fishing at the creek in their yard and her mother’s dog was with him. When the dog growled and barked, Prater looked up and saw a man standing near him.
Despite the child repeatedly telling the man to stop, he reportedly smiled and continued toward him.
“Our lab growled and went after him and the man cocked the gun and aimed it at the dog and then at Jacob, all while smiling and said he wasn’t stopping,” Beatty explained in the post.
Jacob, crying and screaming, was able to get to the porch, while his stepdad went to look for the man, but was unable to find him.
They believe the man was on the hill behind their house and walked down to the child. The hill connects with Birch Branch on Burning Fork, as well.
“My child is scared to even go outside at his own home because of this,” Beatty told the Independent.
The family called 911 and a Magoffin County Sheriff Department deputy responded to the call. Beatty said law enforcement checked out a possible neighbor who matched the description, but he turned out to not be the same person.
“I have lived on Burning Fork since I was 5 years old, so in 27 years nothing like this has happened,” Beatty said. “In general, this is a safe little spot in our town. It’s a place where it seems the outside world stops, and you can breathe and relax and forget about the bad in the world. That is, until this happened yesterday, and I question it all now.”
Beatty said she wanted her kids raised in Magoffin County “because stuff like this just doesn’t happen here.”
“We’re all in shock that it happened to us, and here where we are supposed to be safest,” Beatty said.
Prater described the man as being bald with a mustache and was wearing a yellow shirt and blue jeans. Once he calmed down, he told his mother the man had a “weird smile.”
“I just want others around here to keep an eye out and be safe,” Beatty said, also noting she was proud that her son repeatedly told the man to stop, drew attention to the situation and ran away.
“We’ve always told him to tell and draw a lot of attention and run away as fast as he could and get help,” Beatty said. “His dad and I, as well as his stepparents, drill this into their heads and I’m so glad we do!”
Beatty urged parents to be aware that situations like this can happen anywhere.
“My child now will have nightmares and feel unsafe in the one place he is supposed to feel untouchable,” Beatty said.
Anyone with any information regarding the case is asked to call the Magoffin County Sheriff Department at 606-349-2914.
“My baby was at home in his yard and this still happened,” Beatty said. “Thank God he heard the dog growl and remembered to yell and run!”