As part of the investigation into last month's child rape that has rocked Santa Ana, the police department released an artist rendering of the attacker and later a generic photograph of the type of vehicle he was seen driving.
Now, the Santa Ana Police Department has released an image of what detectives believe was the actual car used in the crime.
The photograph unveiled Friday, which was pulled from surveillance video, shows a 1999-2000 Honda 2-door Civic EX or SI with a sunroof, tinted windows, stock alloy rims and a stock spoiler.
A 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were playing outside apartments in the 1400 block of South Townsend near Edinger Avenue between 6-6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 15, when that car pulled up.
A heavy-set Latino in his 30s to 40s and standing 5 feet 7 got out and walked over the children, holding out a piece of paper he said was for the girl's mother. He then grabbed her, pulled her into the Honda and drove south on Townsend before turning onto Edinger.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
They eventually arrived at an unknown parking lot, where the adult sexually assaulted the girl before driving her back to the neighborhood and dropping her off about two hours later. By then, neighbors were out searching for the missing girl, and they gave chase to the man, which accounts for the solid descriptions police were given on the attacker and his ride.
The image released Friday was taken from video at a business on Edinger, according to police. Anyone with information is asked to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.TIP.OCCS or the Santa Ana Police Department at 714.245.8497. Anyone with a tip that leads to an arrest is reportedly eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.