Search for missing teen resumes in California

Posted at 3:53 PM, May 28, 2016

VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — Crews resumed their search along a Northern California creek for a teenage girl who was last seen being abducted by an armed acquaintance in Vallejo, about 65 miles south from the area being searched Saturday.

The Solano County Sheriff's Office said 65 people from several law enforcement agencies and search and rescue groups are looking for 15-year-old Pearl Pinson in the Willow Creek area of Sonoma Coast State Park.

The search on land and along a river for the high school freshman was suspended Friday at sundown.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Christine Castillo did not elaborate on what led investigators to the rural area, saying only that the strongest leads are there.

"Our number one priority is to bring her home to her family, and we do believe that is possible," Castillo said Friday evening at the search site. "There are indications she could be possibly injured, and that is still a concern. ... We want to locate her and get her any medical attention she needs."

The search for the San Francisco Bay Area girl has been complicated by the death Thursday of the young man suspected of abducting her as she walked to school Wednesday.

Police fatally shot Fernando Castro, 19, in Southern California after they spotted his car and exchanged gunfire with him as they say he attempted to get away.

The incident started on Wednesday, when a witness saw Castro armed with a gun and pulling a screaming Pinson across a freeway overpass in the city of Vallejo, where they both lived. The witness reported hearing a gunshot while running for help.

Surveillance cameras captured images of Castro's car traveling Thursday morning in Marin County, about 25 miles from where Pinson was taken and 300 miles away from where he was shot and killed hours later, authorities said. The gold Saturn sedan was spotted on a freeway near San Francisco Bay, and authorities also were searching the water's edge.

Authorities said the two teens knew each other, but they emphasized that they believe Pinson was taken unwillingly. Rose Pinson, the missing girl's older sister, said she had heard Castro's name but had never met him and described him as an acquaintance, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald (

Blood and Pearl Pinson's cellphone were found on the pedestrian overpass where she was taken Wednesday. A day later and hundreds of miles away, Southern California sheriff's deputies spotted and pursued Castro's car.

Castro abandoned the sedan about 45 miles north of Santa Barbara and shot at deputies as he ran into a mobile home park, the sheriff said. He briefly barricaded himself there, but a woman inside was able to escape safely.

He stole a gray pickup from the house and opened fire at deputies again before they shot and killed him, authorities said.