The Los Angeles Police Department has suspended its search for a missing girl who witnesses said was dragged away by her hair Monday night. She is thought to be in her early teens and was allegedly taken by a man around 20 years old after an argument in a parking lot in El Sereno.
ABC News reported officials said they had no choice but to halt the search temporarily because of steep terrain on the hill the missing girl is thought to have been dragged over. Police K-9 units were unable to continue the search.
On Monday night a 911 caller reported seeing an argument take place before the man lashed out.
“That argument escalated to the point where the male struck the female at least once in the face and then began to drag her up into the brush area by the hair,” police Lt. Andy Neiman said.
The LAPD said there have not been any young women reported missing since the incident took place earlier this week. The concern only rises as time passes without news. Kidnapped children are killed within 24 hours 74 percent of the time, according to TruTV.com.
“Helicopters, K-9 units, urban search and rescue, and mounted police officers searched a 350-acre radius around the center, and we involved up to 250 officers to search for the missing victim,” LAPD Information Officer Luiz Garcia told ABC.
“We found clothing items including shoes, a shirt and pants that we believe belong to the girl,” he added. “The fact that we found these items made us suspect that the victim may have been sexually assaulted.”
Police were not sure of the victim’s exact age, only basing their description on witness reports that she was “petite.” Law enforcement made public a police sketch drawn from witness observations.
Searchers on foot and horseback have combed 455 acres since Monday night, according to the Associated Press.