LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Authorities hope new composite sketches released Tuesday night will help them locate a suspect and his teenage victim who was reportedly abducted and assaulted near the El Sereno Recreation Center.
Witnesses reported seeing a teenaged girl arguing with a male suspect just before 8 p.m. Monday. They said he struck her in the face and then pulled the girl up the hillside by her hair, Los Angeles police said.
Another witness, who could not identify them in the dark, saw a young girl walking without shoes with a man without a shirt from the park to a nearby neighborhood after the alleged incident.
She said the man was talking roughly to her but the girl looked physically okay.
“It’s compelling information we would like to follow up. If it had nothing to do with it, that’s fine. We just want to let the girl know she’s not in any trouble or anything like that, we just want to know that she’s safe,” Det. David Meza said.
More than 250 police officers and searchers scoured a 450-acre area near the 4900 block of Klamath Street Monday night and throughout the day Tuesday. The search was called off around 7 p.m.
“I am very, very pleased that we have not found anybody. My hope is that this was a dispute that has been resolved in some way. But, we don’t know that,” Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday.
Investigators have recovered what they believe to be the girl’s scarf, top, leggings and shoes.
Bloodhounds followed the scent from the clothing to the location the eye witness said she saw the man and girl later Monday evening.
Investigators now believe the suspect and victim may frequent live in the area because they knew how to get in and out of the park.
The relationship between the individuals is still unknown, but authorities are considering domestic violence.
“If this is in fact domestic violence, we have to have our victims of domestic violence come forward and not be afraid to report any incidents involving crime,” LAPD Capt. Anita Ortega said.
The victim is described as a Hispanic girl, 13 to 16 years old, 5 feet 2 inches and 130 pounds. She has a dark complexion and short hair, according to police.
As of Wednesday, authorities have not received any missing person reports for a female matching that description, officials said.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, 18 to 20 years old, 6 feet tall, and approximately 160 pounds. He has a medium complexion with a slender build, police said.
Anyone with information about the case or may know the victim is asked to come forward and call police at 1-877-LAPD-24-7.