Kidnapper on the Loose in Fresno; 10-year-old Girl Taken - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Kidnapper on the Loose in Fresno; 10-year-old Girl Taken and Raped

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FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) -

A Fresno County couple finds a 10-year-old girl wandering in the street and calls the cops.

A man kidnapped her from a Fresno neighborhood and raped her.

The child is now safe with her parents at the hospital.

But her kidnapper is still on the loose.

The man is described as a Hispanic male in his 20's, wearing a blue shirt with white and yellow writing on it.

The man drove an older model brown pickup, with a white stripe on the side.

Investigators say she was on her way to Vinland Elementary school Tuesday morning, when the man grabbed her and her bike near Rialto and Gettysburg.

The couple found her nearly eight hours later more than 30 miles away, off Highway 180 and Napa, near Kerman.

"I seen this little girl walking down the street, which was odd, because it's a busy road and we're out in the middle of nowhere," said Fortunato Martinez.

He and his wife found the kidnapped girl wandering on the highway around 3:45 Tuesday afternoon.

"She just had a shirt on, she was pretty disoriented, looking down the whole time. Scared. Wanting to talk to her mom," said Martinez.

Investigators say the kidnapper drove the girl to a remote area, tied her up, raped her, and left her alone in the weeds.

Somehow she freed herself and started looking for help.

"She said she'd been walking for 45 minutes, it's a couple miles at least," said Martinez.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims is asking the public for help in finding the man who took the girl.

"I must say, for a 10-year-old little girl, she did a great job giving us a description of the suspect and the vehicle," said Mims.

The sheriff says so far the only witness to this heinous crime is the little girl.

Dozens of deputies canvassed the neighborhood where the girl was snatched, talking to parents and trying to find out if anyone else saw the kidnapper.

"Scary, I can't imagine what the parents must be feeling," said Amy Haener, who lives in the area where the girl was taken.

She plans to get together with her neighborhood watch - and not let her girls out of her sight.

"I don't know what I'd ever do. God, that's the worst nightmare," said Haener.

The people who found the girl, say they're glad they were in the right place at the right time to help her.

"It's just heartbreaking to see something like that. So young and so small.  It just devastated us," said Martinez.

The girl's parents were not told that she was not in class - they thought she was in school, until they got the call from the Sheriff's Department.

Fresno Unified's superintendent says the school's policy is to notify parents of a student's absence after that kid has missed two days of school in a row, which is why no one called the girl's parents to tell them their daughter never made it to school.

After what happened, the superintendent says the school will be reviewing that policy.

Anyone with who knows anything in this case, is asked to call the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, at 559-488-3111.

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