After “several hundred hours” worth of investigation, Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick has called off the search for a man a 6-year-old girl said put a bag over her head — and said he doesn't think it actually happened.

Officers responded Sunday afternoon to Crooked Stick Court in the Adelphia Greens residential development, off of Route 9 and the Freehold border. where the girl told police that a man placed a plastic bag over her head, while she was the last one outside cleaning up toys, after playing with friends.

The girl said he never tried to grab her, but she screamed and then went inside. Police later said they learned the man had used a paper bag, not a plastic bag, that was not left at the scene.

In a post on the department Facebook page Kudrick said that video footage became available on Tuesday afternoon that shows the girl’s activities on Sunday afternoon, and while there is a brief period where she cannot be seen Howell detectives retraced the footsteps and created a timeline.

“They determined it was highly unlikely someone had the opportunity to commit this offense during this time,” Kudrick wrote.

Kudrick said that he met with all involved with the investigation and made his determination based upon a lack of evidence, the video footage and the result of his interview with the girl.

"As the chief of police and more importantly as a father I would not make such a decision if I felt it placed anyone especially a child in harm's way. I have immediate family living in Adelphia Greens. I advised them it was safe to resume their normal activities around the development," Kudrick wrote.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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