Tips sought as search for missing teen keeps coming up empty

Officials are hoping someone might provide information that helps lead them to a teenage girl abducted by an armed acquaintance after the latest widespread searches turned up nothing.

They made the public plea on Sunday after a two-day search along the Russian River in Sonoma County in Northern California.

The search included sheriff’s divers, canine units and search and rescue teams for 15-year-old Pearl Pinson in the Willow Creek area of Sonoma Coast State Park.

“Nothing was found during the search that would indicate Pearl is there,” Solano County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Christine Castillo said in a statement.

There are no plans for any specific searches, but authorities are hoping leads might tell them where to look.

“Investigators continue to follow-up on leads and any future search will depend on where those leads take us,” she said.

Castillo encouraged those who may have seen the high school freshman after she was kidnapped Wednesday while walking to a school bus stop near her home in Vallejo to call 911 or their local police department.

A witness reported seeing a girl with a bleeding face screaming for help as a man armed with a handgun dragged her across a freeway overpass in Vallejo, about 25 miles east of San Francisco. Blood and Pinson’s cellphone were found on the ground.

Authorities feared Pinson was in grave danger based on the witness’ account and have been frantically looking for her. However, the search has been complicated by the death of her suspected kidnapper.

Fernando Castro, 19, was killed in Southern California on Thursday after police spotted his car and exchanged gunfire with him as he attempted to flee.

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, prompting authorities to search the water’s edge.

They narrowed their search Friday to the rugged Sonoma Coast, where divers, canine units and search-and-rescue teams scoured along the river and coast for Pinson. Castillo did not elaborate on what led investigators to the rural area, saying only that the strongest leads were there.

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.

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