Girl still missing after suspect in NorCal Amber Alert killed in shootout

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Authorities are still looking for a 15-year-old Northern California girl after the suspect in her abduction was killed in a gunfight with sheriff's deputies in Santa Barbara County. (KABC)

The suspect in the abduction of a 15-year-old girl in Vallejo was killed after a pursuit and shootout with sheriff's deputies in Santa Barbara County, officials said.

The girl, who may have been wounded by gunfire the day before, remains missing.

Pearl Pinson is pictured in two undated photos.


The shootout happened Thursday afternoon in Los Alamos, Santa Barbara County, according to the Solano County Sheriff's department. Earlier in the day, an Amber Alert was issued for a missing 15-year-old Northern California girl who was seen by a witness Wednesday morning being dragged across a freeway overpass, screaming, in Vallejo.

California Highway Patrol officers were told a vehicle matching the suspect's was spotted driving south on the 101 Freeway in Santa Barbara County around 3:10 p.m., officials said.

The Amber Alert said suspect Fernando Castro, 19, was last seen driving a 1997 gold four-door Saturn with California license plate number 5XZD385.

CHP officers, aided by a Santa Barbara County sheriff/fire helicopter, chased the suspect, who at one point drove the wrong way on the freeway before he exited in Buellton.

Sheriff's deputies joined the pursuit through Buellton and Solvang, ending at a mobile home park, when the suspect crashed into a barricade at 3:34 p.m., officials said.

He shot at deputies, who fired back, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. He then barricaded himself inside a mobile, while a woman inside the home fled uninjured. He stole a pickup truck and tried to drive away, but deputies engaged in a shootout with him. He was found dead inside with multiple gunshot wounds. A handgun was recovered.



Authorities believe Pearl Pinson was abducted by Castro. A witness reported seeing a girl with a bleeding face pleading for someone to help her as a man armed with a handgun pulled her along. Officials say the witness ran for assistance and heard a gunshot.

Deputies found what appeared to be blood on the overpass. Pinson has not been seen since the incident.

Pinson was described as a white female, around 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing around 130 pounds with dyed green hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray sweater, black leggings and a black and turquoise backpack.

If you know the whereabouts of the victim, call 911.
Related Topics:
newsmissing personfreewayamber alertNorthern California
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