LA PALMA — A 10-year-old boy was reunited with his parents Tuesday after four men forced their way into the boy's apartment and kidnapped him seconds before his mother returned home from work, police said.
Phillip Kim was found in Koreatown in Los Angeles about 6 p.m., four hours after his disappearance, Police Capt. Vince Giampa said. Investigators are still searching for the four abductors, who were not present when the boy was found, Giampa said.
Police declined to say exactly where the boy was found or who was with him, citing an ongoing investigation. The motive has not been established.
"The best news is that little Phillip is safe and sound," Giampa said.
About 2:15 p.m., four men in their 20s knocked on the door of the apartment in the 7700 block of Valley View Avenue and, when Phillip answered, pushed their way inside, Giampa and neighbors said. The men ordered several of Phillip's friends, who were playing in the living room, to leave and then locked the door, said a girl whose brother was among those inside the apartment.
"They told [Phillip], 'Your mom told us to bring you to her,' " the girl said.
Police said Phillip's mother returned home and confronted the four men, who told her that they had her son and that she "should cooperate with them," Giampa said. After an argument with the abductors, the distressed woman ran outside, prompting neighbors to call 911, police said.
"The parents believe they know who abducted the child," Giampa said. "We've confirmed that the child did not know his abductors."
The men also took the mother's purse and two backpacks, police said.
The parents helped police track down the boy, who telephoned home from a Koreatown location at or near where he was later found, Giampa said. Police declined to say how the parents know their child's abductors.
"We are taking the parents to the place where the boy was located," Giampa said before the reunion. "We have talked to little Phillip. He wasn't harmed at all."