Detroit — A manhunt is underway for a man accused of picking up a 9-year-old Farmington Hills girl who was lost, driving her to a house on Detroit’s west side and sexually assaulting her.
The incident happened between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday as the girl was walking near Eight Mile and Grand River in Farmington Hills, police said Wednesday at a press conference at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.
“This case is every parent’s nightmare — including my own,” Detroit police Chief James White said.
White said Detroit and Farmington Hills police will beef up patrols in the area where the kidnapping and assault happened until the man is captured.
As the girl walked near the Detroit-Farmington Hills border, the man picked her up and asked if she needed help, Detroit police said in a press release.
“The girl told police she got in the suspect’s car and quickly realized he was driving in the wrong direction,” the release said. “The suspect took her to an unknown home, took her inside, and assaulted her.”
The girl, who is recovering, was able to escape the house after the assault, police said. As she walked nearby, a good Samaritan stopped and called the police. Detroit officers drove the girl to Children’s Hospital of Michigan and found out that police in Farmington Hills were seeking her after she’d been reported missing.
The girl was able to provide investigators with detailed information about her attacker, and now police are asking the public for tips “to get this dangerous sexual predator off the street,” White said.
“Our thoughts are with this brave little girl,” White said. “Everyone has spoken about her level of maturity in helping us ID this perpetrator.”
Police are working on a sketch of the man to release to the public, officials said.
The man, described by police as a bald, bearded Black man who drove a white or gray 2015 to 2021 Jeep Renegade, abducted the girl in Farmington Hills, but assaulted her in Detroit near 8 Mile and Berg, police said.
Police said they didn’t want to compromise the investigation by revealing whether the girl knew her attacker.
Detroit and Farmington Hills police along with the FBI are investigating the assault, which White said was “a case that kept all of us up last night — and probably many in the community.”
Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King called the good Samaritan “a true hero” and also lauded business owners near the abduction site.
“Businesses near Eight Mile and Grand River have provided video which allows us to continue to piece this investigation together,” King said.
“Anyone who was in the area of Eight Mile and Grand River between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, if you saw anything you think is important to this investigation, I urge you to reach out,” King said.
“Detroit and Farmington Hills have dedicated all available resources to this case,” King said. “Increases in uniformed patrols will be our priority as investigators close in on this suspect.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Detroit police at (313) 596-2250, Farmington Hills police at (248) 781-2600 or Crime Stoppers of Michigan at (800) SPEAK-UP (773-2587.)