Police were back in the Cobbs Creek area as they continue to search for the people responsible for abducting a 5-year-old girl. During their investigation on Tuesday, police told NBC10 they served search warrants at the homes of registered sex offenders in the neighborhood.
On January 14, a woman went to Cullen Bryant Elementary School on 60th and Cedar Avenue. The woman told school employees she was the mother of a 5-year-old girl and that she had to take her daughter to breakfast. The girl’s family told NBC10 the woman was then allowed to take the child from school.
Authorities describe the suspect as a dark-skinned black woman in her 20s, standing 5-foot-8, wearing Muslim garb who may have been pregnant. They also believe she has green or light eyes and may go by the name "Rashida."
They say that the suspect and victim walked away from the school and met with a man several blocks away at a nearby home. The man is described as a light-skinned, possibly white male, in his late 30s, with short, brown hair. He was last seen wearing sweatpants and a long-sleeved blue T-shirt. Police also say there may have been other adults involved.
While in captivity, the victim was blindfolded and told to undress, according to police. Police say she was given an adult T-shirt and at one point, was told to hide underneath a bed. Police believe the victim was targeted and say she was asked for by name at the school.
The girl was missing for less than 24 hours when she was found on a 69th Street playground on January 15 by Good Samaritan Nelson Mandela Myers.
Authorities believe the child was taken to a home not far from the school. They have narrowed the area down to a four-block radius with the school being the central point. That area is Spruce to Christian Street and 56th Street to Cobbs Creek Parkway. Last week they went door to door with a description of the alleged abductors while advertising a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
On Tuesday, police returned to the neighborhood where they served several search warrants at the homes of registered sex offenders. Police tell NBC10 they are trying to generate more leads in the case because so far they’ve only received about 35 tips.
The father of the girl told NBC10 the family is making arrangements to homeschool the girl because she is still too traumatized to return to school.
If you have any information on this incident, please call Philadelphia Police.