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Whittier police search for girl believed to have escaped kidnapper

February 23, 2013 |  9:56 am

Suspect in attempt Kidnapping
Whittier police are searching for a young girl, about 7 years old, who was allegedly seized by a man suspected in several kidnappings but managed to get away.

At about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, another girl, age 11, was
walking alone, grabbed by a man and put into the back seat of his vehicle, according to the Whittier Police Department. Inside the vehicle, "she noticed a younger female, approximately 7 years old, in the back seat crying," police said in a statement.

The 11-year-old was able to get out of the vehicle near Founders Memorial Park and Broadway Avenue, freeing herself and the other child, according to the department. The girls ran in opposite directions, and the older girl went home and called police.

The younger girl's identity and wherabouts were unclear Saturday, said Officer Brad White, a spokesman for the department.

"It's a big concern of ours that her whereabouts remain unknown," White said. "We're hoping that when she ran away from the vehicle she made her way home."

White said Whittier school officials had been notified. He said authorities did not have a clear description of the girl and that officials hoped she told her parents what happened. White said police were urging her parents to call the department.

Police on Friday released a sketch of the man suspected in the kidnapping. He was described as a Latino man, 25 to 35 years old and about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a medium to heavy build. The 11-year-old described him as having short black hair and a tattoo of three dots on his left hand, according to the department.

Police believe the same man may have been involved in two other kidnapping attempts on Feb. 5.

In the first, at about 11:30 a.m., a man asked a 17-year-old girl who was walking alone if she wanted a ride. The girl said no, but the suspect stopped his car and opened the door, according to police. The girl ran.

The incident took place in the 13000 block of Broadway, near the area where Thursday's kidnapping was reported.

In the second case, a witness called police at 4:40 p.m. reporting a man trying to get two teenage girls into his car in the 6700 block of Washington Avenue, according to police.

The suspect was reportedly driving a red convertible with a tan roof, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call Whittier police at (562) 567-9241 or Det. Ken Woods directly at (562) 567-9286.

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-- Hailey Branson-Potts

twitter.com/haileybranson

Photo: Sketch of suspected kidnapper. Credit: Whittier Police Department

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