Police looking for 'child predator' accused of abducting toddler in Gardena

Girl, 2, was injured when she was kidnapped at a car wash in Gardena

Police released surveillance video Friday showing the car of a suspected child predator, who they say abducted a 2-year-old girl in Gardena, then dropped her off 10 miles away in Cudahy.

Investigators are now searching for the man who they say was seen circling the neighborhood several times before he kidnapped the girl about 4:55 p.m. at a car wash near the intersection of 149th Street and Western Avenue.

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the man who abducted the girl, who was hurt during the kidnapping.

“This man is a child predator,” Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast said Friday. “He is out there and we need the public’s help to find him.”

Her mother told police she was at the self-service car wash, and she heard her daughter scream moments before she disappeared.

Her disappearance prompted an immediate police response as officers and family searched frantically for the girl.

Then around 8 p.m., the man dropped off the girl in Cudahy near the intersection of Atlantic Street and Santa Ana Avenue, police said.

During the abduction, Prendergast said, the girl was injured. He declined to described the extent of her injuries.

The girl is now resting at home with her family, he said.

“This is a stranger abduction,” Prendergast said. “This is not a family abduction.”

Police investigators are reviewing surveillance video from local businesses to try to find more information about the man.

He was last seen driving a 2008 to 2012, four-door white Nissan Altima. The Nissan may not have license plates.

Anyone with information about the abduction is urged to contact Gardena police at (310) 323-2911.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


1:47 p.m.: This story was updated with additional information from police, including a surveillance video of the suspect's car.

This story was originally published at 10:24 a.m.