SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WTVD) --A huge manhunt continues in Cumberland County for a convicted sexual predator who police say kidnapped and assaulted an 11-year-old Spring Lake girl.
Police say 28-year-old Nathan Cooley lured the girl into his car by pretending to be a police officer, and telling her he needed help finding his dog. Police say he then drove the girl to a wooded area and sexually molested her.
The incident occurred between 3:30 and 5 p.m. Tuesday. The girl was walking by herself on Odell Road in Spring Lake. After the assault, police say Cooley dropped the child off near the library.
Cooley has been previously convicted of child sexual assault offenses and is currently a registered sex offender.
Residents in the area said they are scared and angry. They were unaware that a convicted sexual predator was living in their midst.
"Kids can't walk up and down the street just to go to the library," said parent Kelli Hamilton. "That's scary."
Cooley is described as approximately 5'11" tall, and weighs approximately 260 pounds. He has blue eyes and a bald head. He has a tattoo on his head that reads "killa." He was last seen operating a beige or gold Mitsubishi Galant with Virginia tags.
The Spring Lake police chief says the victim is physically OK, but certainly has some emotional trauma.
Police are warning residents to re-enforce to their children that they should never talk to someone they don't know, and never get into a car with a stranger.
Anyone who has any information regarding Cooley's whereabouts is asked to contact the Spring Lake Police Department at (910) 436-0350 or Crime Stoppers at (910) 483-TIPS.
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