Abigail Berthoff, missing Mo. girl, believed abducted by sex offender, officials say

Abby Berthoff, 5
Personal Photo

(AP) POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Law enforcement officers in southeast Missouri searched Wednesday for a 5-year-old girl they believe was abducted from her home by a convicted sex offender.

An Amber Alert was issued for the girl from Poplar Bluff. Police say the girl, whose first name is Abigail, was last seen by relatives sleeping on a living room couch wearing a pink princess nightgown.

Poplar Bluff officer Darron Moore said the child's mother discovered just before 7 a.m. that she was missing and contacted police. A witness saw the child leaving the area of the home with a man police identified as a registered sex offender who lives about a mile away, Moore said.

Moore said the girl's family does not know the man and it wasn't clear what would have led him to the child, or how he would have been able to get her out of the home.

"We don't have any knowledge if it was forced entry or how he got in or how she got out," Moore said.

Abigail has a medium complexion, black hair and brown eyes.

Police believe she's with a 45-year-old man who was arrested in 1990 for the abduction, rape and sodomy of a 12-year-old girl in Fort Hood, Texas. He is reportedly driving a silver 2001 Nissan Pathfinder with Missouri license PJ8Z5M.