Officer Don Gotthardt, a police spokesman, described the abduction and assault as “horrific” and unlike any crime the neighborhood had seen before. He emphasized that neighbors should remain vigilant, keep their doors locked and report any suspicious activity to the police.
The 5-year-old was taken to a hospital for treatment of upper-body injuries that are not life-threatening, Gotthardt said. It was unclear Saturday whether she had been sexually assaulted, he said.
As of Saturday afternoon, detectives had not been able to interview the girl extensively because she was being treated at the hospital, Gotthardt said. The assailant was identified as a man, but Gotthardt said police were not able to immediately provide a description.
“We haven’t connected this to anything at this point. We’ve seen nothing else similar in this area,” Gotthardt said. “The frustrating thing is there is no further description of the suspect at this time.”
Police canvassed the neighborhood Saturday to ask residents if they had noticed anything unusual, and a canine team and crime scene technicians searched for evidence. Authorities also said they were investigating whether surveillance video from the nearby Brookfield Plaza shopping center would yield clues to the man’s identity.
Police said they think that after the child was taken from the home, she was assaulted at a “nearby location.” They said it was not clear where the man took the child or how she made it back home.
Neighbors described the area as a diverse community, with several immigrant families and little crime.
“It’s not the greatest neighborhood in the world, but, generally speaking, it’s very safe,” said Rob Reid, 52, who has lived on Brocton Court for three years.
A neighbor whose son often plays with the victim said she was shocked to hear of the abduction and assault.
“They play a lot in our front yard, and we were never worried about that,” she said. “It’s really surprising, because we’ve never heard of anything like that happening here.”
Salima Karim, 65, said break-ins are rare in the neighborhood, where she has lived for nine years.
“I feel very bad. Shame on the person who did this,” Karim said. Karim said she has often seen the girl and her mother walking together.
Police are asking the public for any information about possible suspicious activity in the area early Saturday morning.