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Possible prowler spotted peeking into young girl’s room 

– A man in a black jacket was spotted by a nine-year-old Atascadero girl around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, peeping into the child’s bedroom for possibly many minutes, according to the mother and stepmother of the girl.

Ashley Soderholm, the girl’s stepmother, said that the girl saw the man possibly lurking outside a window of her Sycamore Lane home for possibly up to a few minutes. “She thought it was maybe her mother, playing a trick on them,” said Soderholm.

Alishia Ann Christian, who watches both her children and Soderholm’s, and is the girl’s mother, said that she was in the kitchen at the time, when her daughter came running up to her from her bedroom saying that she saw a man outside her window.

The girl said that she thought that she saw a shape in the window of what appeared to be a person in black, and because her mother was wearing a black shirt, she assumed it was her, perhaps playing a trick on her or doing yardwork.

Christian said that the her daughter described pulling back the curtain, and seeing a man standing there staring into the room. She said that he was wearing what looked to be a thick, possibly Carhart brand black jacket, and that he had the hood up that covered his eyes. The girl said that she quickly pulled the curtain back over the window, and then in a few seconds, looked again and saw the man running away. She described the man as white, tall, and with no facial hair.

Christian said that she then called the police, who told came to her house and asked a few questions, but didn’t file a police report, because the suspect wasn’t there when they arrived. “I expected them to sit down with my daughter and ask her a few questions,” said Christian, but she said that the interaction was minimal. “They were very nice, but I kind of got the feeling that maybe they thought she was making it up…”

Christian said that she asked the officer what she could do at this point, and they told her to keep her guard up and that her and her children’s safety would essentially be in her own hands. They did say that they would have officers search the surrounding area as well as station an officer there for the rest of the day, but did not file a police report, according to both Christian and Soderholm.

Police dispatch confirmed that a police report was not filed. The Atascadero Watch Commander did not return phone calls made on Thursday or Friday morning.

Soderholm and Christian contacted the Paso Robles Daily News is an effort to both reach out to their neighbors and their community to have them keep a watchful eye out, as well as possibly share the story in case anyone in the area could confirm a sighting or possibly have any more information about the potential prowler.

“It was just weird,” said Christian, “I mean, to be wearing a big jacket like that when it’s 105 out,” she said, wondering if it was perhaps someone who had planned to spy on the girl, or had perhaps been watching the family prior to the incident. “The kids were in the backyard playing just five minutes before this happened,” she said, adding that she thinks that the man may have been watching the family and waiting for them to return inside. “It’s scary. I won’t let the kids play outside right now…”

The incident happened on the 4400 block of Sycamore Lane in Atascadero at approximately 11:30 a.m. Anyone with information about this sighting should contact the Atascadero Police Department at (805) 461-5051.

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