|Anchorwoman Home Safe After Scare|
|By MICHAEL S. JAMES (@bymsj) and JIM VOJTECH||Feb 27, 2013, 8:22 PM|
Paula Lopez, a TV news anchorwoman for ABC News affiliate KEYT in Santa Barbara, Calif., was safe back at her home after a missing persons scare, officials said.
"At around 5:30 p.m. tonight, her family members called Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Public Safety Dispatch to report that she is home and safe," the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office wrote in a prepared statement. "When deputies responded to her residence they confirmed she was there and no longer missing."
Lopez's family earlier had called authorities to say the 48-year-old was missing just after 10 a.m., the sheriff's department said.
"Her last known location was at her home located near Cathedral Oaks Road and North San Marcos Road," the sheriff's department said in an earlier statement this evening. "The last time her family talked to her was at 9:30 a.m. She has not been seen or heard from since. No foul play is suspected but her family is concerned about her welfare."
It was not immediately clear why her family reported her missing so quickly after she last was seen.
"We are not commenting on the reasons surrounding why Ms. Lopez went missing due to the fact it is a private family matter," the sheriff's department said after Lopez was back with her family.
The earlier missing persons report prompted a search that was assisted by K-9 units and a Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit helicopter, the sheriff's department said.
It also prompted a written statement by Mark Danielson, general manager of KEYT, who called Lopez, an 11 p.m. news anchor, "a beloved member of the KEYT family."
"We have been in touch with her family and know they, as well as local authorities, are doing everything possible to find her safe and sound," the statement said. "It is clearly a difficult time for her family and our own family at KEYT. All of us at KEYT stand ready to assist in any way we can."