Rest areas can be found in every state across the country. They may seem like a convenient place to stop, especially on a long road trip.
But there’s more than one reason to believe it would be better to drive past a rest area and find a more public place to take a break.
According to a 2008 article from the Sun Sentinel in South Florida, rest areas may be known more for their crime rates than their convenience.
The Sun Sentinel reported crimes at rest stops in multiple states. The article stated that rest stops are “vulnerable to crime because of their location.”
A viral post on Facebook written by a mom named Abby Sue is gaining quite a bit of attention. In the June post, Abby Sue shared her experience at a rest area on Interstate 74 near Batesville, Indiana.
“I wanted to share to try to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings,” she wrote. “Hold on to your children and stay off your phones so you are not distracted!!!”
Her harrowing tale of what sounds like an almost-abduction is enough to give any parent chills — and not the good kind.
Abby Sue explained how she took her daughter to the restroom. She had a bad feeling and kept her daughter close, holding her hand, and sharing the handicap-access stall so as not to let the girl out of her sight.
“…some lady who appeared to be on something was trying to talk to my daughter…” Abby Sue shared. “I told my daughter we weren’t washing hands and I was going to carry her out…”
And that’s exactly what Abby Sue did. Her description of the situation recounted how the woman had changed clothes, talked to another woman, and even followed the frightened mother and her child out of the bathroom.
“I then made a dead sprint to the car, threw my daughter in and locked doors.” she wrote. “Once we were safely in car I noticed 3 men standing in front of a gold minivan with all the doors open.”
The terrified but relieved mother called 911 and is now warning others to be aware. Those with the intent to do harm are everywhere. You just never know.
State Farm offers tips on keeping safe when stopping at a rest area while traveling. Precautions include staying alert and always traveling with a companion, even on trips to and from bathrooms or vending machines. Solo travelers should avoid rest stops at night, State Farm advises, and use gas stations or restaurants instead.
CORRECTION: This post originally incorrectly identified the state where the incident occurred. It was Indiana.
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