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A man entered a Sandy home near 10300 South and Peony Way early this morning and attempted to take an 11-year-old girl right out of bed while her friend was sleeping on the top bunk. Investigators say their courage to fight back is what saved their lives.
Investigators say there were no adults home when this happened at 6:00 this morning. A family member we spoke to says the mother was at work. Now detectives are trying to determine if this was random or if the suspect knew the family.
"I can't imagine anything more scary than being awakened by somebody putting their hands over your face and attempting to drag you out of bed," said Salt Lake Sheriff's Lt. Don Hutson.
It's a memory these two 11-year-old girls surely want to forget. They were having a sleepover when the man entered the bedroom. Investigators say the suspect intended to kidnap the girl, but that didn't happen.
"She immediately wakened and started to scream and fight. That awakened the girl who was sleeping on the top bunk," Hutson said.
That girl got up and turned the lights on, startling the man. He ran from the house, leaving some items behind, and got in a white car. Officers won't say what those things are.
Edgar Jimenez, one of the girls' brothers, remained calm about the crime. "[I'm] just shocked, you know. We think it just happened quickly. We're just trying to deal with it right now. We're OK. We're happy nothing happened and they're OK," he said.
Others in the neighborhood couldn't believe something like this was possible where they live. "It's actually really shocking. It's been a really quiet neighborhood," neighbor Katie Swenson said.
Another neighbor, Deborah Rogerson, said, "Words can't describe how scary and how it makes you rethink everything."
As the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office investigates, deputies can't help but applaud the girls who fought back. "I think it's appropriate to fight back and resist and make noise. Clearly she knew her friend was there with her, and I think that was certainly the thing to do in this circumstance," Hutson said.
Investigators say they're looking into someone who the girls referenced during their interviews. However, they're leaving all scenarios open, including the possibility that this was random.
If you have any information that would be helpful to deputies, call the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office at 801-743-7000.