Benton County sheriff asks for help identifying suspicious person

Authorities in Benton County are asking for the public’s help to identify a person involved in a suspicious incident last week.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says a white minivan stopped at a school bus stop in Watab Township at around 8:30 a.m. on May 18. The driver — believed to be a man around 60 or 70 years old — then asked the children where they went to school and claimed he was a principal at Rice Elementary School in the past.

The sheriff’s office says the man never threatened the kids or tried to get them into his vehicle, however, officials confirmed his claim about being a principal at Rice Elementary was false and now want to talk with the man.

The man had gray to white-colored hair and was overweight, authorities say.

Anyone with information that could help identify the man or anyone with information about a similar suspicious incident is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 320-968-7201.