JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) - A manhunt continues on the southern tier. Federal investigators are trying to track down the man who kidnapped a young girl from her home.
A 12-year-old girl was taken away in the middle of the night and assaulted. It's a family's worst nightmare, and the suspect is still out there somewhere. Jamestown Police, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's office and the FBI are on the case.
Chautauqua County DA David Foley said, "This is a home invasion. It's a 12-year-old girl. We would certainly characterize this as a dangerous situation."
Authorities say the young girl was taken from her Jamestown home early Friday morning and driven to the Scott Hill Road area in the town of Poland.
"While there, the girl was assaulted. She was able to escape her abductor. She went to a neighbor's home, where the authorities were brought in," said Foley.
Authorities recovered a gold-colored 2009 Dodge Caravan believed to be used in the crime.
Foley said, "The plates on the van were stolen."
Foley says the vehicle was stolen from a used car dealership in the town of Pomfret two days earlier. The suspect, police say, is a white male, mid 20's to early 30's, with blonde hair, who's about 5'5" to 5'9" with a thin build..
"We also have reason to believe the individual that committed this crime may be frequenting unofficial campgrounds through the communities," said Foley.
Authorities are asking for the public's help, hoping that someone saw the van or the person driving near a campground, a gas station or convenience store prior to the girl's abduction early Saturday.
Agent Steven Lancer of the Buffalo FBI office said, "We're still offering any assistance we can to process all the forensic information and hopefully come up with an identification."
Authorities believe had the young girl not escaped, it could've been a much different situation.
Foley said, "It's a tragic situation. It's an unfortunate situation. But we are very, very pleased that she was able to get away."
The young girl was hospitalized, treated and released, and is helping authorities with the investigation. If you have any information, you're asked to contact Jamestown Police at 483-7537.
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