LOUISIANA, Mo. – A man considered a person of interest in the abduction of a 4-year-old Missouri girl, who was found safe Tuesday night, shot himself when authorities approached his home Wednesday, police said.

Officers went to the man’s home about 4:30 p.m. in the city of Hawk Point, which is about halfway between where Alisa Maier was taken from her front yard Monday night and the St. Louis suburb about 70 miles away where she was found wandering around a car wash late Tuesday.

Police did not identify the man and would not say why he was deemed a “person of interest.” He was taken to a hospital and his condition was not immediately known Wednesday evening.

St. Louis County Police spokesman Rick Eckhard stopped short of calling him a suspect. But Eckhard said a dark-colored car parked outside his home matched descriptions given by Alisa’s brother, 6-year-old Blake, who was playing with her in their front yard when she was taken, and by a witness at the car wash.

Still, Eckhard said there may be other persons of interest and that it was “too soon to say” whether the investigation was coming to an end.

A frantic search followed Alisa’s disappearance, drawing help from at least five dozen police officers, the FBI, and more than 100 volunteers. Hope had started to dim as a Tuesday night prayer vigil broke up and nightfall arrived.


But Alisa’s parents soon got a call from police that a child had been found in Fenton, a St. Louis suburb. Police faxed a photo to FBI agents stationed in Louisiana, who showed the picture to the parents. They confirmed it was Alisa.

A witness at the Fenton car wash described a sighting similar to Blake’s: a dark-colored, four-door car, possibly a Ford Escort, seen leaving the area.

Alisa was taken to a Fenton hospital shortly after being found late Tuesday, then to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis for evaluation.

Angela Reddick, Alisa’s great-aunt, said she spoke with the girl’s parents and was told Alisa was unharmed and had not been assaulted in any way.


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