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El Sereno kidnapping: LA police release sketches of suspect, possible victim

Composite sketches of the victim (L) and suspect (R) in the reported El Sereno kidnapping.
Composite sketches of the victim (L) and suspect (R) in the reported El Sereno kidnapping.

The Los Angeles Police Department has created sketches of a reportedly missing female and the male who may have kidnapped her outside of the El Sereno Recreation Center. Officials released the drawings Tuesday night, after calling off a massive search effort that began earlier in the day.

Witnesses reported seeing a man drag a teenage girl or small woman into the surrounding brush Monday night during a heated exchange.

"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.

Witnesses followed and saw the man begin to remove some of the girl's clothing, he added.

More than 250 LAPD and LAFD personnel conducted a search of the area, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some combed the 455 acres of the El Sereno hills and dog handlers deployed bloodhounds, while others flew overhead in a helicopter.

Police Chief Charlie Beck said the only evidence officers had found in the search were some leggings and tennis shoes.

"My hope is that this was a dispute that was resolved in some way, but we have to treat everything like it's the real deal," Beck said at a news conference.

Los Angeles police Commander Andrew Smith told the Pasadena Star News that personnel have covered the whole park, and the incident remains under investigation.

"We continue to reach out to the public; we hope whoever was involved in this will come forward," Smith said. "Maybe we'll get additional witnesses. Someone will recall seeing something or someone will say: 'It was me and my boyfriend."'

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