LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities were seeking two men believed to be involved in the abduction of a 10-year-old girl who disappeared from her bed and was missing for nearly 12 hours before she was dropped off at a hospital six miles away, police said Wednesday night.
After interviewing the girl at a hospital where she was being treated for cuts and bruises, police began looking for one man about 18 years old and another for whom they had no immediate description, LAPD Capt. William Hayes said at a media briefing.
The girl told investigators the men held her for hours at an abandoned house near her home, Hayes said.
The girl said she didn't know the men, and investigators don't know why she was taken from her bedroom early Wednesday. There were no signs of forced entry into her house.
"I've got a girl who was abducted," Hayes said. "I don't know why."
Police believe two vehicles were involved in the abduction and officers have recovered one of them, Hayes said. Investigators have cordoned off several crime scenes in the investigation and manhunt.
"If these individuals are brazen enough to do that," Hayes said of the abduction, "I'm putting all the resources I have to make sure they don't do it again."
The girl's parents reported her missing just before 4 a.m., and 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 Capt. Kris Pitcher said at an earlier news conference.
Police later learned the girl had been dropped at a hospital a few blocks away and had wandered to the strip mall, Hayes said.
The girl had cuts and bruises on her face and was immediately taken to a hospital for treatment.
"She basically is in shock right now," Pitcher 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."
The girl was wearing an oversized white T-shirt and was barefoot when she was found.
Her parents reported that she had been wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with characters from the TV show "Heroes" when they last saw her in her bedroom shortly after midnight, police spokesman Richard French said. When they checked on her a few hours later, she was gone.
Officers went door to door in a two-mile radius and interviewed the girl's classmates and friends. The FBI's child abduction unit was also involved in the search, Pitcher 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, but did not immediately provide a reason.