THE PINES | Porter County police are searching for a tan-colored van with a brown stripe on the side that is believed to have been involved in a sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.
The girl told police she was walking Friday night from the Blackhawk Motel to Virk Mart along U.S. 12 at 7 p.m. when the van pulled up along side her and she was coerced inside.
The suspect drove the van to Pines Park on Birch Street and fondled the girl before dropping her off at Virk Mart, police said.
The suspect is described as a heavyset black male, between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, clean-shaven, between 35 and 40 years old and who wore prescription glasses, police said.
He was wearing a short-sleeved blue collar shirt, beige shorts, silver watch and black tennis shoes.
The girl said there was a red wheel chair in the rear of the van and possibly a handicap ramp on the rear passenger side of the vehicle, police said. The van reportedly had blue registration plates and possibly handicap plates.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Lt. Eric Jones at (219) 477-3136. Anonymous tips can be called into WeTip at 1-800-782-7463.