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Missing girl was dropped off in Woodland Hills, police say

March 27, 2013|By Richard Winton, Kate Mather and Joseph Serna
  • Nicole Ryan, 10, of Northridge, who disappeared from her home during the night.
Nicole Ryan, 10, of Northridge, who disappeared from her home during the… (LAPD )

A 10-year-old girl who disappeared overnight from her Northridge home was apparently dropped off at an intersection in Woodland Hills, police said.

Someone recognized her and alerted a nearby police officer, LAPD Cmdr. Sharon Papa said.

No additional details were immediately available until detectives have had a chance to talk to Nicole Ryan, who was reported missing by her parents early Wednesday.

Papa said police are reviewing surveillance video from businesses in the area of Oxnard Street and Canoga Avenue for clues. No information on a possible suspect is available, she said.

Helicopter news footage showed the redheaded girl apparently healthy. She was barefoot and wearing a baggy white T-shirt instead of the black shirt she was last seen wearing.

She was taken to a nearby hospital for an examination, police said.

Nicole Ryan's mother told authorities that she saw her daughter in her bedroom about 1 a.m. Wednesday, but when she checked on her about two hours later, the girl was gone.

A manager of a nearby animation studio, who saw Nicole when he went to a gas station next to Starbucks,  said the girl looked drained.

"Her face was white. She looked very tired and worried," said Nicolas Jackson, manager of Moonscoop. "You could see she had some worries for the past few hours.

The girl was found just as authorities were intensifying their search efforts.

Dozens of police detectives from the San Fernando Valley had been called in to help with the search. FBI agents had also joined the investigation, along with the Child Abduction Unit.

Police said they were preparing a two-mile, door-to-door grid search of the Northridge area surrounding the family's home.

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