Abduction of Another 5 Year Old Girl Strikes Fear into Heart of Palmerston North Community

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Little Shekinah Relies-Skipper was taken for 3 hours

The mother of abducted  Shekinah Relies-Skipper said she will never again let her child walk alone to school. The five year old girl was snatched off the street yesterday after a man had been seen hanging around the area for some days.

The girl’s 7 and 8 year old sisters tried to fight off the man as he threw her into his car and were able to give his description to police who have yet to issue a description to the public.

Rehia described the man as having green eyes. A cousin at the house, Elexis Ratu, said the girls had told her he was wearing blue jeans with holes in the knees and a dress top with stripes. They also said he had grey hair with black stripes in it and facial hair.

It is not known whether parents of children at Te Kura o Takaro primary school had been notified about the stranger, or whether other children were approached by him.

The abductor dumped the child in a street some hours later where she was found in a distressed state by an elderly gentleman who took her to a place of safety.

DNA evidence has been collected from the girl’s clothes and will be used to help identify the man. Typically, police are releasing very little information about the incident, other than issuing a lot of spin about what a ‘safe community’ it is. All  they have said effectively is that the child is back with her family and her abductor was driving a white car.

Virtually identical abduction 4 years ago

A Palmerston North mother who witnessed a schoolgirl taken from Shamrock St in the city four years ago says the brazen snatch bears striking similarities to Friday’s schoolgirl abduction.

Childcare manager Heather Berge is stunned at the parallels between a 2011 abduction of an Our Lady of Lourdes pupil and the five-year-old who was grabbed off the street on her way to the neighbouring Te Kura o Takaro primary school. Source

More about crime in Palmerston North here – Undercover Palmy


Still No Sex Offenders Register in NZ

Incredibly there is still no sex offenders register in New Zealand, which has one of the highest rates abuse in the developed world.

Abduction Heightens Call for Data Base

The Sensible Sentencing Trust said


The abduction of an innocent 5 year old Palmerston North child highlights the importance for New Zealand to have a registered sex offender data base publicly available”Scott Guthrie, National Child Abuse spokesperson for Sensible Sentencing Trust, has today said that a sex offender’s data base could very well have lessened the risk of this little girl being abducted simply by way of the wider community knowing where these types of offenders live.

Shekinah Relies-Skipper was abducted around 8.30am while walking to school with 2 older siblings. Her sisters watched in vain as she was driven away. Although she was found 2 hours later the police search continued for the offender.

The question needs to be asked as to why a profile of the offender was not immediately released to the public to aid the police in their search of him. There has been an extremely high Police presence in Shannon all day so the Police obviously know who they are interested in talking to.

cott is reiterating the call for a registered sex offender data base now and is also calling on the Police to be more open with the public in asking for help.

“The public want to support our police. They can be and should be the eyes and ears of the police; after all they also have a vested interest in public safety – particularly when kids are involved.”

“A publicly available sex offender data base is essential.”

Crime problem in Palmerston North

Police will be keen to downplay suggestions that Palmerston North has a significant crime problem. A few years ago all mention of crime was removed from the town’s Wikipedia page, after it put off professionals from relocating to the town.

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