10-Year-Old Found Alive, Wandering in Parking Lot After Abduction

Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 03:35 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Editor's Note: As more information has become available, it appears the subject of this story may have been the victim of a sexual assault. Newsmax has edited this story to remove her name and photograph.

After being abducted from her home in Northridge, Calif., a 10-year-old girl was found hours later, wandering barefoot through the parking lot of a local Starbucks.

According to police, the young girl had "facial bruising and lacerations." Family members said the girl might have also sustained "a possible head injury."

"She was forcibly taken from her home and was released over here and was held by individuals for approximately nine to 10 hours," Police Capt. William Hayes said. "She was dropped off by the suspects at a location, Kaiser Hospital at Desoto and Burbank. And she walked from that location to here where she was recovered."

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One of the suspects was described by police as an 18-year-old white male. No description was released for the second assailant.

"We have a 10-year-old girl that's been traumatized here, she was forcibly taken from her home," Hayes said. "If these individuals are brazen enough to do that, I'm putting all the resources I have to make sure they don't do it again."

Police haven't determined whether the abduction was a case of forced entry or if the girl had been lured out of her home by the two men. Her mother discovered her missing between 3 and 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

According to police, the girl did not have a history of running away.

The girl told investigators that she had been held in an abandoned house near her home. Police were searching a vacated rental property a block from her residence, as well as a moving van near a local storage facility.

"It's a miracle," the girl's grandmother told reporters.

"I'm very happy that she's finally found and she didn't go through a lot, you know. I'm glad she's found. That's all I can say," another family member added. "I'm ecstatic, I'm really thrilled. I'm happy. I just say, praise God."

Local police along with the FBI's child abduction unit were conducting a door-to-door search within a two-mile radius of the victim's home to gather evidence.

Police Capt. Kris Pitcher said the girl was in shock.

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"She basically is in shock right now," he said. "She's walking, she's talking, she's conversing with the officers and with the FBI agents, and with the doctors and the nurses at the hospital."

Related stories:

Mom Faked Abduction and Spent 4 Days With Ex, Say Police

School Bus Driver Shot in Alabama; Suspect in Bunker With Abducted Child

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