'Net closing' on man who snatched girl, 6, from bath

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The Independent Online

Detectives hunting a man who snatched a six-year-old girl from her bath warned that the net was closing and urged him to give himself up.

The girl told officers and her family that she was taken from the ground-floor bathroom at home by a "nasty man", sexually assaulted and dumped naked in a dark, snowy street 15 minutes later.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Napier, of Northumbria Police, has described the abductor as "extremely dangerous".

"We have had an excellent response to our appeals for information and are following up a number of lines of inquiry as a result of those appeals," he said. "All of this information is bringing us ever closer to finding the man who did this."

Warning that he had a highly trained team of detectives dedicated to the hunt and that they were determined to bring the investigation to a swift conclusion, he added: "I would therefore say to that individual, 'Come forward now and get this off your chest before we find you'."

The girl, who has a younger brother, was staying with relatives yesterday and said to be making excellent progress in getting over the traumatic experience. Her grandmother said: "She seems to be coping well, though you never know what is going on underneath. She has been talking about the nasty man who took her away from the house and the nice man who found her crying.

"We have all been crying but we all know it could have been even worse. We could have lost her. She was out there stark naked."

Police renewed their appeal for anyone who saw a man acting suspiciously near the girl's home in Willington Quay, North Tyneside, on Tuesday evening.

Officers are continuing to speak to known sex offenders in the wider Tyneside area.