A reported attempted abduction last month at Salazar Elementary School did not occur and was simply a case of mistaken identity, school officials said after an investigation.
Belinda Villarreal of Robstown told the Robstown school board Oct. 9 that a stranger tried suspiciously to escort her 4-year-old daughter out of Salazar Elementary School at about 11:15 a.m. Oct. 8.
Villarreal said the woman tried to lead her daughter out of class by the hand after the pre-K morning session. Villarreal said the woman was not any of the six or so people authorized to escort her daughter from school. She and the child's grandmother, Sally Rodriguez, asked the school board why an unauthorized person was allowed to escort the youngster from school, adding that they were both very upset about the incident.
"We don't want it to happen to another child," Villarreal said. "Other parents should be alert."
Superintendent Roberto Garcia said he investigated the matter and found that the report was simply a matter of mistaken identity.
"We investigated. We could not find any such thing occurring, as per the witnesses," Garcia said. "Our investigation revealed no evidence of an attempted abduction of our student."
Garcia said the woman implicated was Lydia Garza. Garcia said the child's assistant teacher initially handed the child over to Garza, who had gone to the school to pick up her nephew.
The girl went back to her assistant teacher and made it home OK, Villarreal said.
Garza denied grabbing the girl by the hand as Villarreal and Rodriguez alleged to the school board and police.
Garcia said he informed parents of investigation's findings and he regretted that Garza "was erroneously accused of being a participant in all of this."
"The school district regrets that she was mistakenly named as a participant in this," Garcia said. "It was a case of mistaken identity by the teaching assistant."