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Update: Thursday July 8, 12:15 p.m.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Police say the man who shot himself as officers approached him about the disappearance of 4-year-old Alisa Maier was almost certainly the man who abducted her.
Authorities on Thursday said 38-year-old Paul S. Smith of Hawk Point, Mo., was the suspect in the case. He died late Wednesday at a St. Charles hospital.
Smith was a convicted sex offender.
Police tracked him down after noticing new clothes Alisa was wearing after she was recovered. Officers determined those clothes came from a Wal-Mart store in Troy and surveillance video from the store pointed them to Smith.
Alisa was snatched from the front yard of her Louisiana, Mo., home Monday night and was found Tuesday night after she had been dropped off at a car wash about 70 miles away.
Update: Thursday July 8, 8:00 a.m.
(KMOV) -- According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the person of interest in the kidnapping case of four-year-old Alisa Maier has died. The man, Paul Serling Smith, 38, shot himself Wednesday afternoon and reportedly died late Wednesday night.
Sources close to the investigation say a store reported that Smith purchased clothing from the store, which lead officials to a property in Lincoln County, Missouri. When police approached the property at 309 Highway D in Hawk Point, the Smith apparently shot himself.
Smith also goes by Paul Steven Smith. He is a convicted sex offender who was released from jail two weeks ago on drug charges.
Read the whole story at KMOV.com
Update: Thursday July 8, 7:10 a.m.
Police say a "person of interest" in the abduction of a 4-year-old Missouri girl is critically injured after shooting himself when authorities went to his home.
Police followed more than 100 leads after Alisa Maier was abducted from her front yard Monday and found safe Tuesday at a car wash some 70 miles from home.
Police say officers went to the home of a man wanted for questioning Wednesday. As they tried to talk to him, he pulled out a gun and shot himself.
His name wasn't immediately released. A Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman says he's in critical condition.
Alisa and her parents are staying away from home as the police investigation continues. It's not clear when the family plans to return, but a big welcome-home party is planned for Saturday.
Update: Wednesday July 7, 7:15 p.m.
Missouri Highway held a press conference at 7 p.m Wednesday to provide details on the story.
Authorities said that the man who shot himself was a person of interest in the abduction of 4-year-old Alisa Maier.
Authorities went to the man's home in Hawk Point to question him about Alisa TMs abduction around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. When authorities arrived, he pulled out a gun and shot himself.
Hawk Point is about halfway between where Alisa Maier was taken from her front yard Monday night and the St. Louis suburb where she was found late Tuesday wandering around a car wash.
The person of interest was then transported to get medical treatment. Highway Patrol did not confirm nor deny if the man has died since then.
Highway patrol said they didn TMt talk to him before he shot himself.
Authorities said that they were following up on one of many good leads when they approached the man.
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Update: Wednesday July 7, 6:58 p.m.
Sources say that the suspect accused of kidnapping a 4-year-old Louisiana, Missouri girl has taken his own life.
Sources close to the investigation tell News 4 that a store reported that the suspect purchased clothing from the store, which lead them to a property in Lincoln County, Missouri. When police approached the property at 309 Highway D in Hawk Point, the suspect apparently shot himself.
Read the whole story at KMOV.com
Update: Wednesday July 7, 2:53 p.m.
Police said they have more than 100 leads, including some very good ones, in the search for the man who abducted a 4-year-old Alisa Maier.
Alisa Maier was taken around 8 p.m. Monday from her front yard in Louisiana, Mo., and found safe 70 miles away Tuesday night.
The FBI said witnesses saw what they thought was a little boy wandering around a suburban St. Louis car wash. It turned out to be Alisa. She was examined at a hospital and now is with her parents.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said leads are pouring in and police will not rest until they capture the kidnapper.
Authorities are looking for a young white man driving a dark-colored four-door car with a loud muffler and at least two missing hubcaps.
Update: Wednesday July 7, 9:15 a.m.
They're calling it a miracle -- a 4-year-old girl abducted from the yard of her home, found safe 70 miles away more than 24 hours later.
The FBI said witnesses, late Tuesday, saw what they thought was a little boy wandering around a suburban St. Louis car wash. It turned out to be 4-year-old Alisa Maier, abducted Monday night from the yard of her home in Louisiana, Mo.
Alisa was taken to a hospital for evaluation. Her grandfather, Roy Harrison, told NBC's Today Show on Wednesday that she appeared to be unharmed.
Police are searching for the dark-colored sedan that Alisa's 6-year-old brother reported was used in the abduction, and that witnesses saw around the car wash in Fenton. Harrison urged the suspect to turn himself in.
Update: Wednesday July 7, 4:40 a.m.
Authorities said a 4-year-old Missouri girl missing for more than 24 hours has been found alive more than 70 miles from home.
St. Louis County police dispatcher Paul Jackson said Alisa Maier was found late Tuesday in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton.
Police and FBI did not immediately have additional details.
Police continue to search for the man suspected of snatching Alisa from the front yard of her Louisiana, Mo., home.
Update: Tuesday July 6, 6:40 p.m.
Its sounds like a Hollywood crime drama script.
Alisa Maier, 4, is playing with her five-year-old brother when a car pulls up; the driver snatches Alisa from her front yard, and then drives away.
"We still have the same description that I gave you this morning, Louisiana Police Chief Richard Hughes said. A white male of unknown age, driving a darkened-colored vehicle with front-end damage; other than that, I don't have a lot of information. I'm sorry.
Authorities in the Mississippi river town issued an Amber Alert in hopes to find Alisa.
The family has little to go on.
They think the suspect is someone they saw casing the neighborhood.
They had seen the same vehicle drive through the area several times and they were suspicious of it, Alisa's Grandfather Roy Harrison said. "And then my grandson, who was playing with my granddaughter.
Now, the Illinois State Police and the FBI have joined Missouri authorities in the hunt for Alisa. So has an army of emotionally-shaken volunteers.
"I don't personally know Alisa, Hughes said. I have children the same age and my heart goes out to Roy and Alisa's parents. And anybody that could give any information to bring her back, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Update: Tuesday July 6 10:15 a.m.
Authorities continue to search for a 4-year-old girl from Louisiana, Mo., who has been missing since last night.
Police said Alisa Maier was playing in her front yard when a black four-door passenger car pulled up and a man snatched her.
Authorities are searching for a 4-year-old eastern Missouri girl who apparently was grabbed while playing in the front yard of her home.
Police in the town of Louisiana, Mo. issued an Amber Alert for Alisa Maier.
Police said she was playing with her brother Monday night when a black four-door vehicle pulled up and took her away.
Maier is described as 3-feet tall and 40 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jean shorts.