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FBI investigates whether 2015 North Ridgeville abduction is linked to those in Elyria, Cleveland

Posted at 4:38 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 23:17:39-04

The FBI is investigating whether an abduction in North Ridgeville in 2015 is linked to the ones this year in Elyria and Cleveland. 

FBI agents were in the Meadow Lakes neighborhood Thursday, handing out fliers and collecting evidence related to an abduction last year. 

In April 2015, a man went through the window of a home in the area while a little girl was sleeping and took her.

"He snatched her out of bed literally picked her up out bed and carried her out of the house," Special Agent Vicki Anderson told newsnet5.com.

Anderson said he took her outside, held her for an undetermined amount of time and then told the girl he'd "be right back." That's when the girl escaped and returned to her sleeping parents.

The FBI is now including this 2015 in an investigation into two similar child abduction cases in Cleveland and Elyria. 

The FBI's canvass of North Ridgeville comes just one day after the FBI told newsnet5.com they were expanding their search to surrounding states, looking for the man who kidnapped a girl in Cleveland and tried to snatch another in Elyria earlier this year. 

The 6-year-old was kidnapped from her West 104th street home in May and taken to a house where police said she was held hostage in a bedroom for 17 hours before being dropped off in a neighborhood near her home.

The FBI has linked the suspect in the Cleveland case to the attempted abduction of a 10-year-old Elyria girl three months earlier.

EXCLUSIVE: Mom of kidnapping victim makes plea for help in catching the suspect

The man was caught on camera in the West 104th neighborhood prior to the Cleveland kidnapping. The suspect was also recorded driving a 2002 or 2003 Chevy Malibu with a different color front panel in May. The images are being pushed on social media in an attempt to reach as many people as possible.

Anderson said new leads were generated from Thursday afternoon's canvassing in North Ridgeville. 

"We do not have the forensic capabilities to connect this one at this point, but it is something obviously we’re looking at because of the similarities," she said.  

Images and information about the case have been sent to Toledo, Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Buffalo in hopes of identifying the man before he targets another child.