FBI assists in abduction case of Missouri girl

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 | 7:56 p.m. CDT
This photo provided from the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows 4-year-old eastern Missouri girl Alisa Maier, who was playing with her brother on July 5, 2010, when a car pulled up and took her away.

LOUISIANA, Mo. — Police searched frantically Tuesday for a man in a dark sedan suspected of taking a 4-year-old girl from her front yard in a small, quiet Mississippi River town.

Alisa Maier and her 5-year-old brother were playing in the yard of their Louisiana, Mo., home about 8 p.m. Monday. The boy told police a man he didn't know, driving a four-door car, pulled up and ordered his sister to get in before driving away.

Billy Cox, a special agent for the FBI office in St. Louis, said stranger abductions are rare, but this appeared to be one. Authorities were interviewing the boy, seeking any clues they could get from him.

"He's a little boy, so you do the best that you can," Cox said.

Police had only a vague description of the abductor — possibly a white male with dark hair in his late teens or early 20s.

At least 60 police officers and more than 100 residents were joining in the search. A Louisiana police spokeswoman said searchers also were looking in a creek bed not far from Alisa's home, but nothing had been found.

Louisiana, a town of about 4,000 residents 80 miles north of St. Louis, has a Mississippi River bridge, prompting some concern the suspect might have taken the girl to Illinois. The family's home is a short distance from Route 79, a highway along the river that runs from Hannibal to near St. Louis.

Alisa is 3 feet tall, weighs 40 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and blue jean shorts.

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