Authorities Search for Suspect who Kidnapped, Assaulted 10-year-old
FRESNO – A young girl was kidnapped while she walked her bike to catch a school bus on Tuesday morning, and now authorities are looking for her assailant.
The 10-year-old girl was walking on Jackson Avenue between Gettysburg and Rialto avenues on her way to Vinland Elementary School where she was going to catch a bus to a magnet school. Sometime between 8:10 and 8:15 a.m., a man grabbed the girl, put her in his truck, and threw her bicycle and backpack in the bed of his truck.
The suspect then drove her to a dirt area near Napa Avenue and Highway 180, just west of Kerman. The man tied the girl’s wrists, assaulted her, and then left her in the weeds.
A family driving by the area around 3:30 p.m. saw the girl walking along the road and picked her up. She is being treated at Children’s Valley Hospital. Authorities were able to talk to her about her ordeal and gather information about the suspect.
“She does not know who the suspect is. She is articulate. She is giving good information to the deputies out there,” said Chris Curtice with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities are now actively looking for the suspect and would like the public to keep an eye out as well.
“He is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s. He has short brown or black hair and was wearing a blue shirt with yellow and white writing on it,” Curtice said.
The suspect was driving an older model brown truck with a white stripe and a conventional cab. The girl’s bike, described as pink with white wheels, and her backpack have not been found.
Fresno Unified School District spokesperson Susan Bedi said that the district places the highest priority on student safety.
“It is extremely disheartening to learn that one of our students was placed in harm’s way on her way to school,” Bedi said. “We will work closely with the sheriff’s department and offer any assistance that we can. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about taking safety precautions as they walk to and from school.”
Fresno Bee: Fresno 10-Year-Old on Way to School, Kidnapped, Molested
CBS 47: Fresno Girl Kidnapped on Way to School
UPDATE: As this article was posted a suspect has been taken into custody.
Fresno County Sheriffs deputies arrested 23-year-old Kalvin Cardenas of Clovis for the kidnapping and sexual assault of the 10-year old, following a standoff and the use of tear gas.
Fresno Bee: Arrest made in kidnapping of 10-year-old