Kelsey Smith’s family says report of ‘suspicious man’ approaching women in Overland Park hits close to home

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Police have spoken to a man they referred to as creepy after he approached women in Overland Park parking lots.

Although authorities haven’t made any arrests and no charges have been filed, one metro man said the recent cases struck a chord with his family.

Greg Smith’s daughter Kelsey was abducted from the Target in Overland Park in 2007.

“Our hope obviously was that she’d be found, and she’d come home alive but it didn’t work out that way,” Smith said.

The man convicted of Kelsey’s murder was seen on security tapes entering and leaving the store, just minutes after Kelsey. Her body was found in the woods four days later.

“I didn’t realize that it could hurt to breathe,” Smith said.

He said the recent cases involving a suspicious man approaching women in Overland Park parking lots hit close to home.

Overland Park police say just last week a woman was at the Quick Trip off 151st and 69 Highway.

She was headed back to her car when a man said he needed her to get into his vehicle to help him read his gas gauge. He said he was driving from Pittsburg, Kansas to Omaha, Nebraska to see his mother.

John Lacy with Overland Park Police said the second happened Monday in the Walmart parking lot near 159th and Metcalf.

This time, the suspect asked a young lady for money and gave the same story about heading to Omaha to see his mom.

“One of the descriptions I read one of the lady’s said ‘it just felt funny’ what he was asking her to do, Smith said. “And she’s paying attention to her gut. I mean those are the types of things that keep you safe.”

Although his daughter suffered a different fate, he’s happy these women got to see their families again.

“We’re thrilled that those women were able to go home and that they’re safe.”

Smith and his wife Missey started the Kelsey Smith Foundation. They travel the country teaching tactics and skills to keep people out of harms way.

If you would like to sign up for a safety awareness seminar click here.

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