Violent Abduction in El Sereno: Victim, Suspect Still Missing
The Los Angeles Police Department is hoping that composite sketches of both the victim and suspect in a possible abduction case will help locate the still-missing pair.
After a search Monday night following initial reports of the violent abduction, and a resumed search of over 450 acres on Tuesday, little is known of the identity or whereabouts of the female victim and her male kidnapper.
Witnesses reported seeing and hearing a young lady--either a teen or a petite woman--screaming as she was being dragged up a hill in El Sereno off Klamath Street. Some reports indicate the suspect struck the victim in the face as he dragged her away into the hilly terrain near the El Sereno Rec Center.
The victim's presumed clothing--leggings and tennis shoes--were found Tuesday during the exhaustive search that involved over 250 searchers, including officers on horses and bloodhounds, according to City News Service.
The calls about the possible abduction first came in just before 8 p.m. Monday, which prompted a search of the area until about 11 p.m.
Lt. Antonio Zamora of the LAPD's Hollenbeck Station says the hope is that since they did not find a deceased body in the search, perhaps the young woman survived the attack. "So that is our hope -- that she's still alive somewhere and hopefully, either maybe she's in a position where she could call us; if not, hopefully somebody's in a position to recognize who these people are and give us a call,'' noted Zamora.
Conversely, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is taking a "worst-case" approach when it comes to the intensity of the search efforts. Beck said:
"I'm not in the hope-for-the-best business; I'm in the plan-for-the-worst business. You have to go look. If anybody can imagine, if this was your daughter, if this was your wife, if this was your friend, you would want this kind of effort to ensure their safety.''
The presumed victim was thought to be a Latina between 13 and 16 or a small woman. The assailant is described as a slender Hispanic man of between 18 and 20 who is around six feet tall and 150 pounds.
Based on evidence at the scene, authorities know the two left the park at some point, according to a live broadcast on KTLA. Leads and tips have come in following the release of the sketches, and the LAPD hope more information continues to come in.
Anyone with information about the suspect, victim, or possible abduction is asked to contact the LAPD.