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FESTUS, Mo. - The search is on for a man police say tried to kidnap an 11-year-old girl in front of her house, and the girl says this isn't the first time.

It happened in Jefferson County on Cliff Drive in Festus. Emma Vance had just left her house Thursday around 6:30 p.m. to walk her puppy when she says a man in a white car stopped and told her to get in.

Thankfully, she didn't listen. The 11-year-old loves to sing, but now others, including her mom, are singing her praises.

"Oh, I'm very proud of her," said April Vance.

Emma kept a cool head in a situation that could have turned tragic.

"He told me to get into his car," said Emma about the man she says drove up to her.

Emma ran back to the house, told her parents who called police but the guy got away.

"You don't think it would happen to you until it actually it does happen or almost happens," said her mom.

Emma says this is the second time it almost happened. She thinks the same man came around about a month ago.

"I was walking down to my friend's house and he kept on driving around the neighborhood and he stopped and told me to get in his car," said Emma.

That went unreported. Festus Police Chief Tim Lewis says with the few clues he has reports from the community are essential.

"And usually it involves a person calling saying, you know, I've got this information. I don't know if it means anything but those usually turn out to be the ones we're looking for," said Chief Lewis.

As the search continues, Emma and her loved ones are grateful her story ends on a happy note.

Police say the man was in a white car, possibly a Dodge Neon or Saturn with front end damage and no license plates. If you know anything, give Festus police a call.

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