Los Angeles police are asking the public's help in finding two men suspected of forcing a 10-year-old girl from her bedroom and holding her for nearly 12 hours before leaving her miles away near a hospital.
More than 20 detectives are working on the abduction case and have located one of the two vehicles believed to have been used, LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Thursday.
The men, who were strangers to the girl, took her to several different locations after she was taken Wednesday morning, Smith said.
Investigators have cordoned off several crime scenes including houses and a storage facility in the investigation and manhunt.
The girl, who was found with cuts and bruises on her face and was treated at a hospital, had been awake for much of her ordeal and has been resting at home, but detectives planned to interview here again, Smith said.
Meanwhile, police were canvassing the area's surveillance cameras, checking local registered sex offenders, and digging into any possible clues related to the girl's family, acquaintances and Internet contacts.
While parents should be cautious, there have been no recent similar kidnappings in Los Angeles and such abductions are exceedingly uncommon in the United States.
"Right now we're looking at this as an abduction, a stranger abduction, one of those things that's very, very rare in this country but does happen," Smith said.
Police said one of the men was about 18 years old but they released no description of the other.
The girl's parents reported her missing just before 4 a.m. Wednesday. More than 11 hours later, someone who recognized her from media reports spotted her outside a Starbucks shop and summoned police officers who happened to be nearby.
Police later learned the girl had been dropped off at a hospital a few blocks away and had wandered to the area around the coffee shop, Hayes said.
Police released the girl's name, description and a photo in an urgent campaign seeking the public's help in spotting the child with distinctive long red hair. After she was found, police asked media to stop using the name and photo.
Smith said the request came "due to the confidentiality of her being a juvenile and her being the victim of a serious crime," and at the request of her parents.