LA police hunt for two men in girl’s abduction

10-­year-­old was let go at hospital

LOS ANGELES — More than 20 Los Angeles police detectives are hunting for two men who grabbed a 10-year-old girl from her bedroom before dawn and held her for nearly 12 hours before dropping her off at a hospital near her San Fernando Valley home, department officials said.

Police Commander Andrew Smith asked for the public’s help in finding the men Thursday, saying investigators believe strangers took the girl to several locations in different cars.

The girl was found with cuts and bruises on her face and told police she did not know the men, Smith said.


She had been awake for much of her ordeal, and has been resting and is going to be reinterviewed by detectives, he said. She was recovering at home Thursday afternoon.

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

In the meantime, police are canvassing the area’s prolific number of surveillance cameras, checking local registered sex offenders, and digging into any possible clues related to the girl’s family, acquaintances, and Internet contacts.

‘‘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 gave no description of the other.

At the hospital where she was being treated, the girl told investigators the men held her for nine or 10 hours at an abandoned house near her home, Captain William Hayes said.


Police believe two vehicles were involved in the abduction, and officers have recovered one of them, Hayes said. Investigators cordoned off several crime scenes including houses and a storage facility in the investigation and manhunt.

‘‘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.’’

The girl’s parents reported her missing just before 4 a.m. More than 11 hours later, someone who recognized her from media reports spotted her outside a Starbucks and summoned police officers who happened to be nearby, police Captain Kris Pitcher said at an earlier news conference.