EL SERENO (CBSLA.com) — Police continued to search a 365-acre hillside area in El Sereno Tuesday, looking for a female victim who was possibly kidnapped or assaulted.
Witnessed reported seeing a teenage girl arguing with a male suspect just before 8 p.m. Monday in the 4900 block of Klamath Street, Los Angeles police said.
“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,” Lt. Andy Neiman said.
The victim is described as a very petite Latina, however authorities have not received any missing person reports for a female matching that description, officials said.
Witnesses saw the man ripping off the victim’s clothes and followed the pair until they lost sight of them, Neiman said.
Investigators have recovered what they believe to be the victim’s scarf, top, leggings and shoes.
About 100 officers, firefighters, bloodhounds, search and rescue teams and a helicopter began searching the hillside overnight, but admit it’s a large area to contain.
“Someone could have conceivably gotten out of the park . . . and jumped into a car, or gone into a house or a business,” Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
During an overnight search of the area, a man was brought down by police in handcuffs. He was questioned and released as authorities do not believe he is connected to the incident.
“We’re not sure if it was a boyfriend-girlfriend dispute or if it was a stranger-type of thing,” Smith said.
Police are following up on numerous leads from the public. Anyone with any information is urged to call the LAPD.