Family therapist John Tsilimparis, who is not involved in the case of an abducted Northridge girl, says while investigators need to re-interview the 10-year-old, they must tread lightly. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on March 28, 2013.
Police are asking for help finding the two kidnappers who snatched a 10-year-old Northridge girl out of her home in the middle of the night.
A dedicated tipline -- 213-486-6890 -- was set up for anyone with information, Los Angeles Police Department Commander Andrew Smith said Thursday afternoon.
"No clue, no matter how slight, will go uninvestigated," he said.
At least 20 LAPD detectives are working on the case, Smith said.
"I think every parent knows that until these two individuals are captured and taken into custody, we should use all the caution that we can with our children…. Because until these two individuals are caught, we don't know what they're capable of," Smith said.
The victim described one of the kidnappers as a white man, approximately 18 years old. Smith did not have a detailed description of the other male kidnapper.
"We did do a preliminary interview of her yesterday. We got some information, some suspect information and some information about what happened to her," Smith said. "But we didn't get everything we'd like to get. Understand, it is a 10-year-old child, traumatized after a very traumatic experience. She hadn't slept in a long time."
Detectives planned to interview the child again on Thursday.
"Right now, we're looking at this as an abduction, a stranger abduction – one of those things that's very, very rare in this country. But it does happen, and right now that is one of our thrusts," he said.
Police are also looking at registered sex offenders in the area, "anything having to do with the family," acquaintances and Internet information, Smith said.
Also Thursday, Smith scolded news organizations that continued to use the girl's name, photo and details of what happened to her before she was found safe.
NBC4 is complying with the request and will no longer report that information.
"I want to thank those media outlets that did not publish that information. I think history will show that you did the right thing. I think causing a 10-year-old girl to suffer further indignities by having her name or her image or what she went through in detail published in the paper or in the news, I think, further traumatizes that poor girl," Smith said.
The girl was kidnapped from her home Wednesday between 1 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. She was taken to an abandoned home near a storage facility in Chatsworth before being dropped off at a Kaiser hospital in Woodland Hills.
She walked several blocks to a Starbucks where a passerby recognized her from media reports and alerted police.
She was found barefoot and with bruises and cuts on her face at 3 p.m. the same day, police said.
The girl told investigators two men she did not know took her from her home and held her for more than 10 hours before dropping her off.
She said she rode in a black pickup truck, which police found during a search of a Bekins A-1 Moving Solutions yard in Chatsworth, police said. Police were searching for a second vehicle they believe was used in the case.
Police -- working with the FBI -- fanned out across the San Fernando Valley, meanwhile, to conduct interviews and search locations where the girl said she believed she was taken with the hope of finding the men responsible.
"We don't have any witnesses in the traditional sense," Smith said. "What we do have is people who were in the area that we're going to interview."
LAPD Capt. William Hayes, who heads the Robbery-Homicide Division that's handling up the case, noted its delicate nature.
"A 10-year-old young lady that's been through a traumatic incident like this -- you can imagine that there are a lot of things that are going on," he said. "We don't want to traumatize her any further. So we're taking our time and working with her to find out as much information as we can."
Police said they did not know whether the girl might have been targeted and did not believe the kidnappers had previous contact with her.
Smith said that there is no indication that a relative was involved in the kidnapping.
Smith noted that these kinds of cases -- stranger abductions -- are rare.
"Very early we had a bad feeling about this," he said.