A 3-year-old Central California girl was found alive, alone and apparently unharmed in a field about 12 hours after she was taken from her car seat in what sheriff's officials believe was a stranger abduction.
On Monday, a detective spotted the girl running through a field less than a mile from her Huron apartment, where she was taken from a vehicle Sunday evening, Fresno County sheriff's officials said.
The girl appears to have been taken by a stranger, but there was no indication she was hurt, Fresno County Sheriff's Lt. Rick Ko said Tuesday.
Her mother told police she left the girl inside her car as she went back into her home to get her wallet around 7:45 p.m. Sunday. When she returned a few minutes later, her daughter was gone.
Witnesses say they saw a male suspect leave the area on a bicycle with the child. A BMX-style bicycle was found abandoned about a block away.
"We have nothing to tell us otherwise at this point, so until we find the suspect, and if he talks to us and tells us why he did what he did, then we're going to have to go with what we believe, which is a total stranger," Sheriff's Lt. Jose Salinas told KFSN-TV.
Ko told the Fresno Bee that the bicycle and the mother's Toyota were being processed for fingerprints in an attempt to identify a suspect.