An Alberta man facing kidnapping charges allegedly dressed up as a police officer before he abducted a 16-year-old girl, the RCMP said.
The 56-year-old suspect faces charges of kidnapping with a firearm, sexual assault and impersonating a police officer, RCMP Sgt. Patrick Webb said Monday afternoon.
The Mounties allege the man wore a police uniform and completed his impersonation by outfitting his vehicle to look like a police car.
"We believe that the vehicle being operated by the accused was equipped with a red-and-blue flashing light similar to those used by the police, and he also may have worn clothing that gave the appearance that he was a peace officer," said RCMP Sgt. Patrick Webb.
The suspect, who is in police custody in Red Deer, wasn't known to police before his arrest.
But the Mounties believe that the man assumed the appearance of a police officer in order to gain the trust of the 16-year-old girl.
"To have this happen is quite disturbing, because that person ... has put her trust in what she believed in for years and years," said Webb.
"To have that destroyed like this is quite disturbing."
The girl, who cannot be named because she may be a sexual assault victim, went missing on Thursday night not far from her central Alberta home.
Wearing pyjamas and a coat, she left her home in the town of Penhold to pick up some orange juice at a nearby store, police said.
The girl's truck was found parked behind the family home soon after she left. The keys were still in the ignition and the vehicle's lights were still on.
The girl's purse, along with the recently purchased items from the store, were still in the truck, but her cell phone and wallet were gone.
Community members, along with the girl's family, launched a massive search to track her down, but she turned up two days later at a mall in Red Deer, where she called her father.