SARASOTA, Fla. – An Amber Alert has been issued for an 11-year-old girl whose apparent kidnapping was videotaped by a surveillance camera Sunday evening.
Carlie Brucia was walking home from a friend's house at about 6:20 p.m. Sunday when she cut behind Evie's Car Wash (search), which was closed. Tape from the business's surveillance camera shows a white male in his late 20s or early 30s approach her. She did not appear to know him.
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The man, who was wearing a mechanic's shirt with a name patch on one breast, spoke to her for a few seconds, then grabbed her by the arm and led her away. Her parents said they do not recognize the man, who investigators said had tattoos on both forearms.
The FBI was working with NASA to enhance the images from the tape in hopes of lifting more clues.
Authorities were also looking into the account of a caller nearly 100 miles away in Kissimmee who said he saw a man appearing to struggle with a girl early Tuesday in a parking lot. Based on that witness's account, authorities also were looking for a green, four-door Honda or Nissan.
Her stepfather, Steven Kansler, had driven to the area to give her a ride after a friend's mother had called to say she had seen Carlie walking home.
When he didn't find her, he called the sheriff's office about 6:30 p.m. A search did not find her. The car wash's owner checked the tape Monday and found the images of her abduction, which have been broadcast nationwide.
FBI spokeswoman Sara Oates said one agent is initially assisting the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office (search) with the investigation of the girl's disappearance but others will get involved as necessary, she said.
"We are offering our assistance and anything they need to locate her," Oates said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also assigning an agent to the case, spokesman Larry Long said.
Meanwhile, a national hot line has been established — 1-888-382-6237 — to gather information about the girl's disappearance.
Joe Brucia, the girl's father, said Carlie is not shy.
“She’s extroverted, but she’s also been taught since a young age not to approach strangers,” he told Fox News on Tuesday.
Brucia urged possible witnesses to contact authorities.
“I know there might have been some people on the golf course,” which is only a few hundred feet away from the site of the apparent abduction, he said.
Brucia said detectives have told him that they have interviewed some people, but have no prime suspect. Investigators have called a Tuesday afternoon press conference to discuss the case.
"To the man who abducted her, you've done a considerable amount of damage," Brucia said on NBC's "Today." "Please stop. Release my daughter. Let her go. With some help and some love she can heal. Give us back our daughter."
"I need her," said Susan Schorpen, the girl's mother. "She's loved and she's special. She needs to come home. Carlie is a wonderful, kind little girl. Carlie needs to be home with her family. We desperately need her. Please release Carlie. Please give me my baby."
The family's modest home on the edge of a busy, commercial section of the city is a bit more than a mile from the house where Carlie was visiting her friend Sunday. The car wash is part of a complex that includes a miniature golf course, a driving range and an ice cream parlor.
Family friend Chessie Huber described Carlie as a beautiful girl who loves actress Jennifer Lopez, going to the mall and hanging out with her friends. The blond, blue-eyed youngster, who is 5-feet-tall and 120 pounds, is known for greeting friends with warm hugs. She was wearing a red top and blue jeans, and carrying a pink backpack when she disappeared.
"Carlie is not the type of child who would just go off," said Huber, whose 6-year-old son is a playmate of Carlie's little brother, Leaf. "She's a very responsible child."
Huber said she thinks Carlie's body language in the surveillance video indicates that she probably didn't know the man who grabbed her.
"If you look at Carlie's face, she's shocked," Huber said. "Her life had to be threatened."
Huber said she the incident has shocked her and others who live in Sarasota, which is about 45 miles south of Tampa on Florida's Gulf Coast.
"Sarasota is a safe neighborhood," she said. "I moved from New York City. I felt safe here. I don't feel safe anymore."
Robert Hagemann, principal at McIntosh Middle School where Carlie is a sixth grader, said the girl is personable and animated and has many friends. "She is a delightful young lady."
He said that the school has increased security and district counselors were meeting with students.
He said many of the children are sad, frightened and shocked. He said students are being encouraged to discuss their feelings but to also remain hopeful that Carlie will be found. School officials are also being encouraged to "think optimistically and have a plan to celebrate and to also have a plan if the news is tragic."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.