EVERETT, Wash. - Police are investigating after a partially dressed 5-year-old girl showed up on the doorstep of an Everett apartment before dawn on Saturday morning and knocked on the door, seeking help.
Residents of the apartment, who had never seen the girl before, called 911. Investigators now believe the girl was abducted by a stranger and later dropped off or escaped in the neighborhood where she was found, said Aaron Snell of the Everett Police Department.
The incident began when residents of the apartment in the 1300 block of Bruskrud Road heard someone knocking at their door at 4:30 a.m. Saturday and saw the little girl on their doorstep, Snell said.
After the residents called 911, arriving officers saw that the girl was not fully dressed and took custody of her. An investigation was immediately launched to determine where the child lived and why she was outside by herself.
About an hour later, officers responded to a call at another apartment complex in the 800 block of 112th Street SE after a passerby reported a missing screen and open window at an apartment unit. Arriving officers woke up the resident at the unit and soon discovered that his 5-year-old daughter was missing.
A K-9 police dog was brought in and found a track that led from the apartment on 112th Street SE, along the Interurban Trail to Bruskrud Road and linked the two scenes together. Other evidence was found along the way, including items of the girl's clothing.
After interviewing the girl, detectives believe she was taken from her room by a stranger and are calling the incident a child abduction, Snell said. He said evidence at the scene suggests the suspect entered the girl's ground-floor apartment through the window by using a wooden pallet as a ladder.
The girl underwent a medical evaluation at Providence Medical Center. Police say they believe the girl's abductor intended to sexually assault her but for some reason did not do so.
During an interview with police, the girl described the man who took her as darker skinned, shorter than average height, normal build with no visible tattoos. At the time, he wore jeans, a shirt, a white hat and white earrings.
Snell says police later found video surveillance taken at about 3:10 a.m. showing a man carrying a large object, believed to be the girl, over his shoulder and walking toward the Interurban Trail near the girl's home.
Anyone living near, or was on, the Interurban Trail in the early morning hours between 112th Street SE and Everett Mall and saw or heard something suspicious, is asked to call 911 or the Everett Police Department tip line at (425) 257-8450.
At the 50 second mark of the video, a suspect can be seen leaving the apartment complex carrying a large object believed to be the girl.