Missing Girl Found Dead Near Her Home

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The search for a missing 7-year-old Newhall girl ended Sunday afternoon with the discovery of her body, only a short distance from her home, authorities said.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide detectives called out to investigate the death of a young girl later confirmed that the body was that of Sara Nan Hodges, Deputy Dan Cox said.

The girl’s body was found four or five houses away from her home in the 24900 block of Alderbrook Drive, Cox said.

Details were not immediately available on the circumstances of her death, and it was not immediately known who discovered the body.


An autopsy was scheduled, coroner’s officials said.

No Arrests

There have been no arrests, Cox said.

Sara, a blonde, blue-eyed first-grader, was last seen about 2 p.m. Thursday with a group of neighborhood children in the front yard of her home, officials said. Her mother notified sheriff’s deputies at 8:15 p.m. Thursday that she was missing. The parents are divorced, authorities said.


Her disappearance prompted a massive search. And authorities received dozens of tips from people claiming to have seen the child.

After interviewing neighbors and the children she was playing with, deputies used bloodhounds and a helicopter to search for the girl in the rough, brushy, wilderness area across the street from the house.

The ground search of the wilderness area was called off late Friday.

“It’s fruitless,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Kasco said. “We have had more than 74 people out there all day, bloodhounds and helicopters, and she is just not there.”