CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — An 8-year-old girl was abducted from her home in the middle of the night by a total stranger who said he would hurt her if she made a sound.

The girl’s mom says the 8-year-old first thought it was her dad, lifting her out of bed. She soon realized it wasn’t her father, but a total stranger.

The girl’s father says the man let himself in through an unlocked patio sliding glass door at 3 a.m. Deputies say he put his hand over the little girl’s mouth and carried the child out of her Carmichael home.

“She was asleep and didn’t realize what was happening until she was practically out the door,” the mother said.

The girl told her mom the suspect warned her not to make a sound as he took her to the greenbelt area behind the home. The girl pleaded to be let go, and almost unbelievably, deputies say that’s exactly what happened. She ran back through the woods to make it home safely and woke up her dad.

“What changed?” said Sacramento County Sheriff spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman. “For somebody to go through that method to take a child, and not keep the child or not do anything further to the child, is what’s perplexing.”

The suspect sketch shows a clean-shaven young man with short hair and acne scars.

The girl’s mom had advice for concerned neighbors and parents.

“Lock your doors, kiss your kids extra and check on them a few extra times, because it is every parent’s worst nightmare, and I’m just so grateful that she’s OK,” she said.

The girl is said to be doing OK physically aside from a few cuts and bruises from running home, and she hopes to go back to school on Wednesday.

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