The family of Paula Lopez, the KEYT anchor who was reported missing Wednesday morning and found later in the evening, is declining to elaborate on the details of her return. Lopez is married to a Superior Court judge and is a “longtime fixture in the community,” according to the Los Angeles Times:
Her family alerted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office that she was gone, triggering a response by deputies who used search dogs as they scoured the area. The rapid response raised questions about whether the family received favorable treatment. Often, law enforcement authorities wait 24 hours before declaring a person missing and launching search efforts.
News footage showed Lopez’s husband, Frank Ochoa, arriving at the home Wednesday night in his gray Lexus with what appeared to be a woman in the passenger’s seat. The family contacted the Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday about 5:30 p.m. to say that Lopez was safe at home, KEYT-TV said on its website.
“Paula has been located,” a spokesman for the family told reporters gathered outside the home Wednesday night. “We’re not giving out any details right now.”
The Santa Barbara County sheriff’s office also declined to comment “due to the fact it is a private family matter.”