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Police search for man who abducted 8-year-old California girl

From Scott Thompson, CNN
  • Mother tries to chase suspect but cannot catch him
  • Suspect speaks in Spanish and promises toys
  • Police earlier received reports of a man exposing himself to girls in same neighborhood

(CNN) -- Authorities early Tuesday were searching for a man who snatched an 8-year-girl from a central California neighborhood and took off with her in his pickup truck.

Police say the mother was close by and got into a car and frantically tried to chase down the truck but was not able to catch up with the man.

The girl was identified as 8-year-old Elisa Cardenas, a Fresno police spokesman said.

She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a purple sweater with "Winnie the Pooh" on the front, Fresno police said.

Police say the suspect, described as a 6-foot-tall, thin man, with slicked back hair, drove to the Fresno neighborhood in an older reddish-brown Ford truck. The man drove up to six children Monday about 8:30 p.m. (1:30 a.m. ET Tuesday).

The man spoke in Spanish and told the children that he would take them to the Dollar Store and buy them toys if they got into his car, CNN affiliate KFSN reported.

The man then pulled the victim into his car and sped away.

Police told the affiliate that they had received reports minutes earlier of a man, with a similar description and vehicle, exposing himself to young girls just blocks away from where the abduction happened.

Fresno police said 100 officers were searching for the girl and the suspect, KFSN reported.