Luring suspect released, investigation ongoing
RICHLAND, Wash. - We are following up on a story that we reported earlier this week, about a man police arrested for suspicion of attempted child luring at Goethals Park.
Action News spoke to the police, the deputy prosecuting attorney, and the father of the girls about the situation.
"He's innocent until proven guilty and that's kind of where I stand at this point," Jerry Daudert said, the father of the girls.
Daudert said his daughters were playing at the park across the street from his house when a concerned mother saw a man talking to his two young daughters. She thought it felt suspicious, so she confronted the man, took photos and called police.
Police arrested Michael Young for suspicion of attempted luring charges after this incident at Goethals Park, but Young was released from Benton County Jail, following a 72-hour hold.
No charges have been filed in this case.
Daudert said he's still waiting on the police and prosecuting attorney to finish their investigation.
"I don't want him to be vilified and called a pedophile and a monster unless he's guilty of this,” Daudert said. “And he needs to be determined guilty by the appropriate agencies."
Richland police and the Benton County deputy prosecutor said this is an ongoing investigation, therefore they cannot speak to the specifics of the case. However, they each provided statements.
Richland police Lt. Chris Lee said:
"The Richland Police Department has not concluded the investigation into the alleged luring incident involving Michael Young. Once concluded the case will be sent to the prosecuting attorney's office for review. After reviewing the case the prosecuting attorney will decide if charges will be filed on this case or not."
The Deputy Prosecutor Diana Ruff said in a statement:
"The case is still under investigation, and I will make a charging decision once I have reviewed all available information."
Daudert said it's important to let the American justice system follow its course.
"We're not going to be playing judge and jury on Facebook when the investigators need to be able to do their job," he said.
Police and the deputy prosecuting attorney said they don't have a timeline for when the investigation while be complete. We will continue to follow this story.