The scene outside the Northridge home of a girl who disappeared early Wednesday… (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)
Los Angeles police are expected Saturday to identify a suspect connected to the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl who went missing from her Northridge home earlier this week, authorities said.
The girl has told investigators that two men were involved and that she was taken to multiple locations in different vehicles, according to law enforcement sources. She was found bruised and scratched Wednesday near a Starbucks about six miles from her home.
"This 10-year-old child was traumatized after a very traumatic experience," Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andy Smith said earlier this week.
Smith declined to provide details about her ordeal, saying police wanted to protect her privacy. Detectives said at this point there was no indication that she knew her attackers.
"Right now, we are looking at this as a stranger abduction -- one of those things that is very rare in this country, but it does happen," Smith said.
The girl was initially identified by The Times, citing authorities, after she went missing. However, it is the policy of The Times not to identify victims in cases of alleged sexual crimes.
Detectives were chasing a variety of possible leads, including looking at registered sex offenders in the area and examining the girl's Internet activity.
Law enforcement sources said detectives also were trying to determine whether there was any connection between this case and a high-profile international child abduction in 2008.
Public records and court documents indicated one of the children kidnapped in the 2008 case was a relative of the Northridge girl.
More than 20 detectives and the FBI are working on the Northridge case.
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