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Missing Clearlake girl spotted on surveillance video

A neighbor's surveillance camera caught a fleeting glimpse of a missing autistic child running up the street moments before her family reported her missing in Lake County on Sunday.

The finding Tuesday led authorities to refocus the search for Mikaela Lynch, 9, who was previously believed to have run toward the water, to areas north of the Harbor Lane home where she was last seen.

Despite the video clues, more than 100 search and rescue personnel had not yet found Mikaela by late Tuesday. At about 8 p.m. the search was again scaled-down for the night, to be continued with a full force of law enforcement, emergency staff and volunteers in the morning, Clearlake Police Lt. Tim Celli said.

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"Unfortunately we're still actively searching for her," Celli said.

Mikaela was last seen Sunday while playing in the fenced backyard of a Harbor Lane home on a spit of land bordered by Cache Creek and inlets. Her family reported her missing at 1:30 p.m.

Searchers scoured water and land Tuesday as temperatures climbed into the 80s.

Volunteers handed out fliers and Clearlake police asked that people in the neighborhood search every inch "of their properties outbuildings, vehicles, crawl spaces, everywhere," Celli said.

He asked that people look in places that a child, particularly one with disabilities, might hide.

The video surveillance provided key clues for law enforcement, who suspect the child ran away, although abduction has not been ruled out, Celli said. On Tuesday, the search focused in the Harbor Highlands neighborhood and areas where they child might have traveled on foot.

"There's a limited mobility, she was barefoot," Celli said.

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