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With every passing hour in the search for 8-year-old Kirsten Renee Ha

May 16, 1997

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (AP) _ With every passing hour in the search for 8-year-old Kirsten Renee Hatfield, there is a growing fear that she was kidnapped after her mother tucked her into bed.

The second-grader was last seen Tuesday at 11:30 p.m. When her mother went to wake her at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Kirsten was gone.

The room’s window was closed but unlocked. Police found blood spots on a windowsill and on a 6-foot-high wooden fence in the back yard. The girl’s underwear was found in the yard.

``It’s looking more and more like an abduction,″ FBI spokesman Dan Vogel said Thursday. ``I think the possibility that she is a runaway has dropped considerably in the last 24 hours.″

Kirsten’s room showed no signs of a struggle, police said.

Her 3-year-old sister was in the room Tuesday night but is too young to provide much information, police Sgt. Tom Hoskins said. He said the girl told police she saw someone come into the room.

``She’s been helpful but there are variances in her details,″ Hoskins said.

Tracking dogs lost Kirsten’s scent about three blocks away from the home in this suburb of Oklahoma City. Police said there was no way of knowing whether the dogs were following an old scent.

Word of Kirsten’s disappearance _ eerily similar to the abduction in 1993 of 12-year-old Polly Klaas in California _ sent a chill through this working-class neighborhood where bicycles, scooters, dolls and other toys are scattered in front yards.

``We would always let the children play with each other outside. That’s the way we were, but not anymore,″ said Tiffany Hulsey, who lives across the street from Kirsten’s house.

``We’re horrified,″ Ms. Hulsey said Thursday. ``She was like one of my own. She didn’t run away, I can promise you that.″

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