Police have temporarily called off the search for a young girl after a lack of evidence forced their investigation to a standstill.
Officials in Los Angeles say witnesses saw a man, around 18 to 20 years old, take a girl who appeared to be 13 years of age from a rec center after an argument, which escalated until he struck her and then began to drag her up a hill by her hair. Investigators say they’ve received no reports of a missing person and the only things found during the search were a pair of leggings and some shoes.
“My hope is that this was a dispute that was resolved in some way, but we have to treat everything like it’s the real deal,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference.
The massive search area was covered by officers on foot and on horseback, and included search dogs and even helicopters. Nothing was found to suggest foul play, but the clothing is worrisome to the witnesses, who say they saw the man begin to remove it from the girl as he dragged her into nearby brush.
Police have released sketches of the suspect and victim and have checked hospitals and schools for someone who matches the description, but have so far come up empty-handed.