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Odd incident with stranger at Penticton McDonald’s leaves mother shaken

The unknown woman touched the girl’s hair, tried to claim that she was her daughter
A Penticton mom is warning others after a woman took a scary fascination with her daughter in the play place of McDonald’s on Feb. 22. RCMP have been made aware. (Google photos)

A Penticton mom is warning parents to be vigilant after a scary encounter with an unknown woman who took a concerning interest in her daughter in the play place at the local McDonald’s restaurant on Feb. 22.

Penticton RCMP confirm that they have looked into the incident but concluded that the suspect woman was ‘likely suffering from mental health concerns.’

The mom took to Facebook shortly after she encountered a woman sitting by herself in the playground area of the fast food restaurant. The woman had crayons and colouring pages but did not appear to have any child with her.

The unknown woman kept talking to the mom’s oldest daughter, commenting on how beautiful she was.

“At first she tried to get [my daughter] to colour with her but I said no she had to eat and my daughter listened to me. But as the comments continued, my daughter kept looking to me for guidance. I was watching and letting the conversation go on but at one point she moved close to her and touched her hair, to which I said ‘please do not touch her hair,’” said the mom in the Facebook post.

The mom, who the Western News is not identifying, asked the unknown woman if she had any children in the play place.

“She said yes and gestured toward my daughter. I said ‘No, she’s mine.’

The conversation became very convoluted from there so the mother told her children to gather their things and they left. The mom did inform the manager of McDonald’s but by then the woman was gone.

The mom describes the woman as around 25 to 35 years old, with soft features and voice, and had short brown hair and brown eyes.

“She told my daughter that she would find her no matter what it took.’

Penticton RCMP spokesperson Const. James Grandy said that the mother of the young child did report the incident.

“The mother reported the incident to police the following day, and an RCMP officer did take a statement from her. Albeit a strange encounter, it was concluded that no criminal offence had taken place. It appeared the female likely was suffering from mental health concerns,” said Grandy.

The incident has left the mom shaken.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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