SoCal girl reported missing found safe: Nicole Ryan, 10, missing since early Wed. morning

Search on for person who dropped off girl

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - A 10-year-old Northridge girl who was reported missing when her mother noticed her bed empty about 3:30 a.m. was found nearly 12 hours later Wednesday about six miles from her home, and police were searching for the person who dropped her off.

Someone recognized the girl around 3 p.m. at Canoga Avenue and Oxnard Street and directed her to some nearby police officers. Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Kris Pitcher said the girl had been dropped off at the location by an unknown suspect. It was unclear if the girl was physically abducted from her home or if she had been with the suspect all day.

"We don't know who she was dropped off by, that's under investigation now," Pitcher said. "… We are reviewing tapes, we are talking to individuals. We are turning over every stone we can to catch up with this individual, so we don't know who dropped her off."

He said the girl was walking on her own and talking to investigators, but she suffered "facial bruising and lacerations."

The girl was taken to a West Hills hospital to be examined.

According to police, the girl's mother awoke to some noise about 3:30 a.m. and checked on her daughter, who was nowhere to be found at their house in the 8000 block of Oakdale Avenue. Media reports from the scene indicated that the girl's dog, which normally is not allowed in the room, was in the bedroom when the girl's mother checked on her.

Police swarmed a roughly two-square-mile area in search of the girl.

"She's basically in shock right now," Pitcher said. "Like I said, she's walking, she's talking. She's conversing with the officers and the FBI agents and with the doctors and nurses at the hospital."

Cmdr. Sharon Papa said detectives and juvenile officers from across the San Fernando Valley took part in the search for the girl. The FBI also took part in the search.

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