Police investigations can be messy and complicated, and what's transpired today proves it. Keep reading to learn about the red van Sedalia Police are looking for, why they're looking for it, and why the red van in pictures you may have seen on Facebook isn't the van their looking for.

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According to Sedalia Police's Facebook page, they received a report that an older woman driving a late-model red van approached a group of children walking home from school. One witness told Sedalia Police that the woman spoke to the children from her vehicle before exiting the van to approach the kids. Another nearby witness yelled for the children to run, and the children ran away. The van lady then left the area.

Sedalia Police have released a possible description of the woman. She's white, in her 60s, with shoulder-length hair that is starting to gray.

Area law enforcement wound up with a picture of the van they thought the woman was driving from a residential camera and Sedalia Police, Pettis County Sheriff Deputies, and The Missouri Highway Patrol went looking for the van and the driver so they could investigate what happened and see what the driver's intent was.

This is where things get messy. A Sedalia Police Officer was provided the picture of the van, and witnesses confirmed that the van in the picture was the van being driven by the subject Sedalia Police wanted to speak to about the incident. In an attempt to locate the van, Sedalia Police posted the picture on Facebook.

That van's owner later contacted Sedalia Police, and investigators have confirmed that the van in the picture WAS NOT involved in the incident. The van's owner was working in the neighborhood when it was captured on a residential camera. The owner of this van was very cooperative with the Sedalia Police Department.

As of this writing, Sedalia Police are still looking for the red van and driver that approached the schoolchildren. However, the red van you may have seen associated with this case on Facebook is no longer the van police are looking for. (We have purposely avoided posting a picture of ANY red van to avoid any confusion.)

This is a pretty good example of how police investigations can be messy and complicated. Yet officers are still looking for the right red van. The good people of Sedalia have all taken an interest in keeping our youth safe. And the person who owned the van pictured that got posted on Facebook and the internet, while inconvenienced is hopefully understanding.

Sedalia Police remind parents they should talk to their kids about strangers and how to handle questionable situations. Sedalia Police also has a publication that can help parents talk to their kids about this which is available in the lobby of the Sedalia Police Station.

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