Neighbors apprehensive since the sexual assault of 6-year-old girl

Neighbors apprehensive since the sexual assault of 6-year-old girl
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The front yards of homes along Buckley Avenue and Garber Way remain empty. Anxious parents no longer allow their children to play outside their own homes ever since a man grabbed a 6-year-old girl from her front yard, took her to a nearby isolated area and sexually molested her.

"Man, it's bad," said Louie Valenzuela, who lives across the street from where the incident happened. "I have a 6-year-old daughter and always talks about the bad man, and she gets scared at night."

The victim was being cared for by her grandmother when the abduction and molestation happened. The grandmother was inside her home when the incident happened. She blames herself.

"I've been getting help, seeing a counselor about this, because it's affected me greatly," she said.

Other neighbors sympathize with her plight, but admit that the incident has left them on edge.

"I am more careful now, and I've spoken with my own kids about this to make sure they stay safe," said neighbor Robin Perez Villalobos.

Sheriff's investigators say they are following up on dozens of leads from the community.

"It's a case that we really want to solve," said Ray Pruitt, spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

"We believe the suspect is out there. We're doing everything we can to identify him so we can take him into custody," said Pruitt.

The suspect is a Hispanic man whose first name may be Eric or Eddie. He is in his 30s, is 5-foot-10 and weight is around 250 pounds. He has black hair cut short and was last seen wearing a blue shirt, baggy denim shorts, white socks and grey Vans style shoes.

Anyone with information about this is urged to call sheriff's investigators at (661) 861-3110 or Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040. Anonymous text tips can be sent to TIP411 (847411). Just type "KCSO" prior to the message.