FRESNO, Calif. --A 13-year-old girl is recovering after she was kidnapped as she got home from school. The suspects threw her into the trunk of a car, beat her and left her tied to a tree in a mountainous area 30 miles away.
The child went through a terrible trauma, but survived, and now the focus is on finding those responsible for the abduction and beating.
It seemed like a normal day Tuesday in a nice neighborhood. The 13-year-old girl got off the bus and walked about a quarter of a mile to her home, when she was confronted by four masked men.
"She had arrived home in the area of Shepherd and Academy, when she walked up near her front door, that's when a couple of young men approached her and said, 'Come with us,'" said Tony Botti, Fresno County Sheriff's Department.
The girl was thrown into the trunk of a car, driven up a windy mountain road for about 30 miles, then her captors dragged her up a mountain trail and tied her to a tree, then beat her. Despite all that, she managed to get herself free and hike to a nearby house where residents said she appeared bloody and bruised.
"She walked up and she was all bloodied up and said she got kidnapped, and so we went and got a phone to call 911, and she was scared and just wanted to call her dad, but so we called 911," said the Rancheria, Calif., resident. "Her face was all bruised up because she said she got punched, and her lips were all bloody."
The residents of the house on the Cold Springs Rancheria, where she sought help, did not want to be identified. They said the girl told them four men took her and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone.
The suspects were described as four young men of medium build in their 20s, driving a silver, late-90's BMW.
The girl's neighbors also did not want to be identified, but one said she was shocked but glad the child survived.
"A few neighbors and I were praying for the family, and just relieved that the story didn't end in a much more tragic way," she said.
Detectives are scouring the girl's hometown area as well as the Rancheria where the girl was abandoned. They say they have no motive for the attack and are asking the public for help.
The sheriff's department said the girl was not sexually assaulted.