Police are starting to get a clearer picture of what happened to a California 10-year-old who disappeared from her home in the middle of the night Wednesday only to be found, bruised and battered, later that day. "Right now, we are looking at this as a stranger abduction—one of those things that is very rare in this country, but it does happen," a police commander said yesterday. Sources tell the LA Times that the girl was sexually assaulted.
Police are looking into a number of leads, including the intriguing possibility that the case is related to a high-profile 2008 parental kidnapping—police records indicate that this girl is related to one of the children involved in that case. Two brothers were ultimately apprehended and pleaded guilty, acknowledging they took their sons to the Netherlands without their ex-wives' approval. But sources emphasized that it's currently only one of several theories. Other new details: The girl apparently told police that one of the two men involved was about 18; the investigation now involves a storage facility near her home where a pickup truck was found.