VALLEY SPRINGS (CBS13) – Calaveras County sheriff’s deputies are searching for the man responsible for the murder of 8-year-old girl.

“It’s hard to even imagine how somebody could do that,” neighbor Mike Harris said.

Authorities are investigating the homicide at the residence of a Rippon Road home in Valley Springs after receiving 911 calls around noon.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are searching the area for a suspect described as a white or Hispanic male with long gray hair. He is 6 feet tall with a muscular build and was last seen wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and blue pants.

Residents were told to lock their doors as deputies searched Calaveras County for 8-year-old Leila Fowler’s killer, who they say is armed and dangerous.

“She was suffering from some severe injuries,” said Cpt. Jim Macedo.

Deputies say the girl’s 12-year-old brother find an intruder inside.

A neighbor told police they saw the same man running from the home. A quarter mile perimeter was set up around the house- and agencies from all over the foothills were called in to help.

“We were doing a house-to-house search and in some cases were searching attics and storages. It’s a difficult area to search. It’s rural, it’s remote,” said Macedo.

News of the killing spread quickly through the town. This savage murder is the type of violence neighbors say they moved here to avoid.

“We used to live in the valley and it was getting real violent down there and we’ve been here 11 years and it’s been real good up here, just doesn’t seem right,” said Harris.

Residents around Valley Springs are being told to keep their doors locked as the search will continue throughout the night.

Earlier it was reported that the girl was 9 years old but later discovered that she is 8 years old. It has been corrected in the story.

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