Vancouver – Vancouver Police have launched an investigation following reports that a stranger posed as a parent and tried to lure a five-year-old from a home daycare in East Vancouver before Christmas.

Today, investigators released a composite sketch of the man and a picture of a distinctive car that was seen in the neighbourhood around the time of the December 13 incident, with hopes that someone with information will come forward.

“This is a troubling case that we’ve been actively investigating for more than three weeks, but we still don’t know the identity of this stranger,” said Sergeant Steve Addison. “With students heading back to school and daycares soon re-opening after the Christmas break, we’re notifying the public and taking additional steps to solve this case.”

The suspicious incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. on December 13, when a man knocked on the door of an after-school home daycare near East Hastings and Skeena Street, in East Vancouver, and spoke to the daughter of the daycare operator. The man claimed to be the father of a five-year-old girl who was attending the daycare and referred to the child by name.

The five-year-old happened to be out of the house with daycare staff at the time, so the man left without the child and made a comment about calling the nanny. Daycare staff were immediately suspicious and reported the incident to Vancouver Police after speaking with the girl’s parents.

“Our investigators have worked with the girl’s family and daycare staff, conducted extensive neighbourhood canvasses for witnesses and video, and spoken with other families who use the daycare,” added Sergeant Addison. “We’ve confirmed that neither of the girl’s parents had come to pick her up that afternoon, and that nobody else should have been aware of the child-care arrangement.”

“Who this man was is still a mystery, and the nature of the incident is a cause for concern.”

The suspect is believed to be white and in his 30s, standing about six-feet-tall with a medium build. He had facial stubble and was wearing a white toque with a white hooded sweatshirt when he approached the daycare. He was described as appearing clean and stylish.

Investigators would like to speak to anyone who recognizes the man in the composite sketch released by VPD, as well as anyone with information about an orange Porsche Macan that was in the neighbourhood around the time of the incident. At this stage of the investigation, police have not linked the car to the incident, but believe the person driving it may be able to assist in the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact VPD’s Special Investigation Section at 604-717-0600.