Oct 5, 2010 3:48 PM by Nichole Larkey
FRESNO, Calif. - An 8-year-old girl who was abducted while playing outside a Fresno home escaped from her captor Tuesday morning after a driver cut off the suspect's vehicle, police said.
Elisa Cardenas was found in Fresno about 11 hours after she disappeared around 8:30 p.m. Monday, triggering a statewide Amber Alert.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the driver was following a truck that matched the description of the abductor's vehicle. The driver recognized the truck from media reports, which showed surveillance video of the vehicle.
When the driver saw Elisa's head in the window, he cut the truck off and Elisa bolted, Dyer said.
She was taken to Community Regional Medical Center and was in good condition.
"I've got to tell you, it was a highlight of my career to see Elisa and her mom reunite in that hospital room," Dyer said.
The suspect's pickup truck was later spotted by authorities, who had received a tip about its whereabouts, and he was arrested in the parking lot of an apartment complex. His name has not been released.
Authorities said Elisa was playing with six other girls when a stranger approached them and managed to lure her into his pickup. Two adults who saw what was happening shouted for the girls to run away. But the man grabbed Elisa and drove away, as witnesses chased the vehicle.
Fresno police said the suspect fit the description of a man who had exposed himself to two girls earlier in the day.
More than 130 officers were called in to help with the search and went door-to-door over a 3-mile area.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - California authorities have issued an
Amber Alert for an 8-year-old Fresno girl who was apparently
abducted from her front yard while playing with a friend.
The California Highway Patrol says Elisa Cardenas was taken around 8:30 p.m. Monday.
CHP Sgt. Trent Cross says the girl was taken by a stranger who managed to lure her to his vehicle.
She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a light purple Winnie the Pooh sweat shirt.
Fresno police say the suspect is described as a male around 6-feet tall and in his 20s with a shaved head. He was wearing a white tank top and blue jean shorts and driving an older model, reddish brown Ford two-door pickup truck. The vehicle had a six-inch white stripe on it.