A manhunt is underway Tuesday night. Investigators are looking for a man they believe kidnapped and sexually assaulted a young girl who was walking to school. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says it happened after 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. The young girl was walking with her bike to Vinland Elementary School in the area of Jackson and Gettysburg. Sheriff Mims explained, “A male in a pickup asked her if she needed his help. She said no. He exited the truck, grabbed her, put her in the pick up and threw her bicycle in the back of the pick-up.”
Mims said the man then drove the young girl about 30 miles into the area of Napa and 180, near Kerman.
“He bound her hands, sexually assaulted her, and left her in the weeds just off the side of the road,” said Mims.
At about 3:30 p.m., neighbors spotted the little girl. They called the sheriff's office. They expressed, “I'm still shaken up. We have four daughters and I hope they get the guy. There were cars passing by but nobody stopped. Clearly it looked like she was lost. She had no pants on or nothing so it was just unbelievable. I just thank God we were here outside to see her and she didn't keep walking down the street and somebody else pick her up.”
Sheriff's deputies are now on a manhunt. They're asking for the public's help.
“Any little thing might be just what we need to find who is responsible for this vial crime that has happened this afternoon,” said Mims.
They're looking for a Hispanic man in his 20's with a shaved head, a mustache and brown eyes. He was wearing a blue shirt with white and yellow writing on it. They’re also looking for his brown truck. It has a white colored stripe down the side of it. The young girl describes it as "being older." Detectives believe the girl's backpack and bike could still be in the truck. The bike is pink with white wheels.
Sheriff Mims says the young girl is being examined at a hospital. She says her injuries are not life threatening.
The Fresno Unified School District superintendent spoke in a news conference. He's reminding parents to always talk with their children about taking safety precautions when walking to and from school.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Fresno County Sheriff's Office at (559) 488-3111.