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Cars Impounded in Missing Girl Case

February 6, 2002 GMT

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SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Intensifying the hunt for a 7-year-old girl who disappeared from her home over the weekend, police seized property belonging to a neighbor and searched the man’s house for a second straight day.

The neighbor’s house is less than 100 yards from the home where police said Danielle van Dam was abducted Friday night or early Saturday. Police on Tuesday seized two vehicles and other items from the man, whose name was not released and who has not been placed under arrest.

``We have been focusing on him but I’m not going to characterize him as a prime suspect,″ said Lt. Jim Collins, the lead investigator.

The man led investigators to the desert east of San Diego where he said he spent the weekend. Police impounded both the recreational vehicle he drove to the desert and his sport utility vehicle.

Danielle was last seen when her father put her to bed Friday night. Her parents said they discovered she was missing when her mother went to wake her up the next morning.

Police said Danielle’s parents were not considered suspects.

The girl’s father, Damon van Dam, told investigators he woke up around 1:30 a.m. Saturday to let the dog out and noticed a burglar alarm light was blinking. He discovered a sliding glass door was open and he closed it. He said he did not check Danielle’s room.

Brenda van Dam, who came home from a bar around 2:30 a.m. and stayed up for an hour with her husband and friends, said she made sure the children’s bedroom doors were closed to keep from disturbing them, but she said she didn’t check on the children.


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