Missing 8-year-old fresno girl found safe

An 8-year-old girl who was abducted Monday evening from outside a Fresno apartment complex has been found and is safe, police said Tuesday morning.

A statewide Amber Alert was issued for Elisa Cardenaz, who had last been seen wearing a light purple sweater with Winnie the Pooh on the front and blue jeans.

A police dispatcher Tuesday morning confirmed she had been found safe but could not provide details.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m., a man in a pickup truck pulled up in front of an apartment complex at 2751 E. Hammond Ave. near a group of children who were playing.

The man approached a 6-year-old girl and Elisa, who started to walk with the man as the younger girl walked away, police said.

Female witnesses yelled at the children to get away from the man, who then grabbed Elisa and pushed her into the truck’s cab.

Although Elisa’s mother hopped into a car and tried to chase the truck, she lost track of it, police said.

The truck was described as a late 70s or early 80s Ford or Chevy pickup truck with a distinctive 6-inch white horizontal stripe on its sides.

Police have located images of the truck that were captured on surveillance video and said at 6:30 a.m. that they were trying to extract its license plate number.

Minutes before Elisa was abducted, Fresno police received a call for a separate incident in which a man matching the suspect’s description dropped his pants and exposed himself to two other young girls.

The FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children were both assisting in the statewide search.

Fresno police Tuesday morning were searching isolated and secluded areas, including nearby hotels, motels, bus depots, train stations, schools and parks.

A door-to-door search was carried out in the immediate area of the abduction.

Anyone with information about the case should call 911 or the Fresno Police Department at (559) 621-7000.

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