PUYALLUP, Wash. -- A girl, 7, was playing outside with other children at an apartment community Wednesday evening when she was lured into nearby woods and assaulted, police said.
She was found choked and unable to walk, but gave police enough information to arrest a neighbor boy, 14, Capt. Dalan Brokaw said.
Police are looking into the possibility that the girl may have been sexually assulted.
The girl was taken to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma in serious condition and is expected to survive, Brokaw said.
Family and friends had searched for about two hours before reporting the girl missing about 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Glenbrooke apartment community. Puyallup officers searched the apartment complex and brought in a tracking dog and handler from the Normandy Park Police Department.
Following a scent from a tennis shoe found on a trail, the dog led searchers into the woods where they found the girl after midnight. She had a severe injury to her neck and had to be carried out, Brokaw said.
The girl gave officers information to identify a suspect. They served a search warrant at 4:45 a.m. Thursday and arrested the teen at the apartment complex, Brokaw said. He was processed by Puyallup police before booking into the Remann Hall juvenile detention facility in Tacoma.
"It appears he had some story about finding an injured animal in the woods to lure her away," Brokaw said.
“It’s a shame. I know her family kind of well. They’re all good people,” said neighbor Tracy Raines.
Police had previous contact with the teen when he was a victim in an assault, he said.