Crime & Justice

Police ask media not to describe 'indignities' suffered by kidnapped 10-year-old Northridge girl

An ambulance and fire truck were at the scene in Woodland Hills on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, where a young girl was found who had been reported missing.
An ambulance and fire truck were at the scene in Woodland Hills on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, where a young girl was found who had been reported missing.

UPDATE 2:27 p.m. At a news conference Thursday afternoon, police provided updates on the kidnapping of a 10-year-old Northridge girl early Wednesday morning.

The girl described the suspects as a white man who looked to be approximately 18 years old, along with a male accomplice, according to LAPD Commander Andrew Smith, but there are no description details for that man.

Detectives interviewed the girl yesterday. Smith said she was traumatized and tired. Police plan to re-interview the girl Thursday afternoon.

"We got some information...but we didn't get everything that we'd like to get," he said. "She hadn't slept in a long period of time. 

The girl said that she was placed in several vehicles and driven to several locations throughout the San Fernando Valley. Police have located one of those locations, which was a storage facility, but the results of a police search of the facility are being kept confidential.

Smith said that police published a photo of the girl and her name to help her be found, but asked for media not to use her name or photo in further coverage. KPCC has chosen not to identify the girl now that she's been found.

Smith also asked that any information about trauma, "indignities" or "additional crimes" the girl may have suffered while missing for 12 hours not be published, at the request of her parents. Some media outlets have chosen to publish detailed info about the crimes the girl suffered, Smith said.

One reporter questioned Smith, saying that the media was being asked to lie, but Smith replied "I'm not asking for anybody to lie" and that he didn't think asking for media not to reveal details of what happened to the girl while she was abducted constituted asking the media to lie.

"I think that's serious enough for any parent in America to know that this is a serious crime," he said.

Smith said that police are assigned to the girl's house for the foreseeable future, but that officers aren't there because they expect anything to happen or because of anything the family has done.

This isn't part of a series of kidnappings of young children around the area or around Los Angeles, Smith said, though he added that parents should use caution while the two suspects remain on the loose. He said there was no indication of anyone else involved besides the two suspects.

— Mike Roe

Previously: Authorities Thursday are looking for two suspects in connection to a young girl from Northridge who was kidnapped Wednesday and later found miles from her home in front of a Starbucks.

The 10-year old girl described her alleged kidnappers as two men, one of them a white male in his late teens.

Los Angeles Police Commander Andrew Smith says investigators are treating the case as a stranger abduction. 

“Here in Los Angeles and across the country stranger abduction to children are very rare; however, when they do occur, they don’t end up well. Many times the child is killed. So in this case we’re very happy that this child is actually home and is safe with her parents right now.”

Smith said there haven’t been recent patterns of child kidnappings in the San Fernando Valley or elsewhere in the L.A. area.

Wednesday, the girl’s parents reported her missing from home shortly before 4 a.m. More than 11 hours later, someone saw her and alerted police.

Police later learned the girl had been dropped off at a hospital a few blocks away from where she was found.

Doctors treated her for cuts and bruises.