STANTON, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities served four search warrants and narrowed their search to several people as they scour the state for a man who kidnapped and killed 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, officials said early Friday.
At least 10 people had been detained and questioned by Thursday, Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona said, and police sifted through more than 1,000 leads at a command post across the street from Samantha's home.
"I think it's safe to say that we've narrowed our field of investigation to several people, and that this puzzle is coming together and every minute we're getting closer to solving this crime," Carona said in an interview Friday on NBC's "Today" show.
The Los Angeles Times quoted an unidentified source as saying that a 27-year-old man in Lake Elsinore is a focus of the investigation.
The girl and a 5-year-old friend were playing only about 150 feet from Samantha's front door in a complex of Stanton townhomes Monday evening when a man drove up in a two-door light green Honda or Acura after making a U-turn. The man got out and asked for help finding his puppy, then took off with the kicking and screaming girl.
Samantha's nude body was discovered Tuesday afternoon in neighboring Riverside County on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest, about 50 miles from Stanton.
An autopsy concluded the girl was alive for several hours after she was snatched and was killed sometime Tuesday by asphyxiation.
Police served search warrants at four locations, Carona said, including an apartment complex near Lake Elsinore, not far from where Samantha's body was found, and at a business in Temecula. No one was immediately arrested, however.
Authorities did not say what location in Lake Elsinore was searched. But Adelina Avila said her apartment there was searched Thursday and her 27-year-old son was being detained. She said her son had been taken for questioning early Thursday.
Sheriff's investigators declined to comment. The Los Angeles Times quoted a source as saying that authorities had received a tip from the public and were focusing on a 27-year-old man in Lake Elsinore. The report did not say whether the man referred to is Avila's son. Three cars resembling the description of the abductor's vehicle were confiscated from the complex, the newspaper reported on its Web site.
"There have been numerous detentions, there have been a few arrests, there have been vehicles impounded," Orange County Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo said earlier.
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