State Police investigating possible link between child abduction and attempted burglary

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. -- Pennsylvania State Police is trying to figure out if there is a link between a child abduction and an attempted burglary in Franklin County.

The incidents happened less than a mile away from each other in Washington Township and in less than a week.

Every neighbor we talked to agreed - they think something strange is happening in the community.

One of those neighbors is the man who called 911 for the attempted burglary.

Out of respect for his family’s privacy, we agreed to only show the inside of his home.

Unsettling is just one way Thom Lambert would describe what’s happening in his backyard.

“You would think ‘oh, they found her! Phew’ but then it’s, 'oh, they found her. What’s happening?'" said Thom Lambert. “More questions than answers.”

Lambert is talking about the 4-year-old girl troopers believe was abducted from her Washington Township home.

They say she disappeared Wednesday, only to find the little girl within a mile of her home Thursday morning.

"I think for some people it’s really personal. Everyone has kids. Everyone has grandkids," added Lambert.

For Lambert, things got even more personal when someone tried to break into his house just days later.

"I grabbed a skateboard pocket knife, went downstairs, and the door that was normally open, was halfway closed. The window behind it was ajar slightly, and our front door was hanging wide open," explained Lambert.

He says, luckily, the family’s trusty four legged companion woke them up.

“This is Edgar," said Lambert. "He woke up us in the middle of the night. We were alarmed. We got out of bed. He was absolutely right — there had really seemed to be someone in our house.”

Lambert’s home is less than a mile away from where the girl was reported missing.

Pennsylvania State Police are looking to see if there’s any possible connection between the two incidents.

"Definitely something strange going on," said Kenneth Smith, a long-time resident of Washington Township. "I don’t think it’s just happening.”

Like many of his neighbors, Smith wants one thing:

“I’m not happy about the situation, certainly hope they find the person who did it and real quick," he said.

Many neighbors here have been asking, 'why wasn’t an Amber Alert issued when she went missing?'

Troopers say they didn’t know she was abducted until she was found.

They want people to be thinking about safety - locking their doors and windows at night and looking for suspicious cars or people.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.