LOCAL : Search On for Missing Newhall Girl

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports</i>

Dozens of sheriff’s deputies and volunteers using horses, dogs and a helicopter searched a rural area of Newhall today for a 7-year-old girl missing since Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Sara Hodges, a first-grader at Newhall Elementary School, was watching television with an older sister about 2 p.m. Thursday when she left her home in the 24900 block of Alderbrook Drive to go out and play, deputies said. She has not been seen since.

Deputies began searching door-to-door and combing the area’s rural horse country at 8:15 p.m., when the girl was reported missing by her mother. The search was later expanded to include the sheriff’s mounted patrol, detectives from the Santa Clarita station, a unit of Explorer Scouts, the Santa Clarita Search and Rescue Team and three teams of dogs. Sgt. Bryan Williams said the girl was wearing blue jeans and a pink and blue top and is described as white, with blue eyes and blonde hair. She is 4 feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds.