(FOX 11) - Authorities are hoping to find a missing teenage girl alive as they frantically search a wide swath of California for her Friday, a day after the man suspected of abducting her died in a shootout with police.
Fernando Castro, 19, whose car was tied to an Amber Alert for 15-year-old Pearl Pinson, shot at sheriff's deputies who spotted the vehicle Thursday and chased him to mobile home park in Santa Barbara County, about 300 miles south of where she was taken a day earlier, Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara said.
Pinson still has not been found. Authorities have been trying to find her since a witness reported seeing a girl with a bleeding face screaming for help as a man armed with a handgun dragged her across a freeway overpass in Vallejo on Wednesday morning. Officials say the witness ran for help and heard a gunshot.
"We continue our search, and we hope to find her alive," Ferrara said.
Authorities described the two teens as acquaintances but emphasized that they believe Pinson was taken unwillingly.
Santa Barbara sheriff's deputies spotted the gold Saturn sedan that Castro had been seen driving in Vallejo on Thursday and chased it. He shot at authorities and then fled into a mobile home park in the town of Solvang and ran into a home.
He briefly barricaded himself there, but a woman inside was able to escape safely, a Santa Barbara County sheriff's statement said. He stole a gray pickup truck from the house and opened fire at deputies again before they shot and killed him.
Authorities feared Pinson was in grave danger based on the witness' account of the kidnapping Wednesday. Deputies found what appeared to be blood and Pinson's cellphone on the pedestrian overpass, and she has not been seen since.
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