The fear that a strange person was attempting to collect DNA from young girls in Turlock for some sort of nefarious plan turned out to be a man working for a legitimate business offering child DNA kits, the Turlock Police Department reported.
The police department received multiple reports of a suspicious man approaching residences in Turlock and requesting DNA, fingerprints and hair samples from the children.
The first incident was reported at 5 p.m. Dec. 4. In the 2200 block of Celebration Lane. The man knocked on the front door and asked the homeowners to see their daughter. The man said he was with Amber Alert and needed their daughter’s hair and DNA. The homeowner told the man they did not sign up for anything like this and was told to leave, according to the police department.
The second incident happened Saturday morning in the 200 block of Villa Street. The same man approached a residence and had identifying information about the homeowner’s 18-year old daughter, claiming the daughter had signed up for a child fingerprint kit. The homeowner requested the man leave their property after suspecting fraud, said Turlock Police Crime and Community Information Analyst Deandra Wiley.
“The Turlock Police Department diligently investigated these incidents and were able to identify and speak with witnesses and the involved adult male,” Parmley said. “He has fully cooperated with the investigation and agreed to come to the police department for an interview. We were able to confirm that he represents a legitimate business; however, the manner in which the information was relayed led to some misunderstanding and concern among the residents that he contacted.
“His contacts stemmed from word of mouth referrals and from online requests for free child DNA kits,” Parmley said. “The involved adult male was passing out child DNA kits, which would be retained by the family, in the event it was ever needed for future investigations. He was not asking to retain the child DNA kits himself.
“As a result of this investigation, we were able to determine there were no crimes,” Parmley said.
Even though no crimes were committed, the police department advised residents to proceed with caution when unknown individuals come to their residence and to contact the police regarding any suspicious activity.