Missing Santa Barbara anchor with LA ties back home*

paula-lopez-sb.jpgUPDATE: Paula Lopez, who was a staffer at KCAL 9 in Los Angeles for six years, co-anchors the 11 p.m. news on KEYT in Santa Barbara. She was reported missing this morning to the Santa Barbara County sheriff's department, according to the station. After a search she turned up at home tonight.


The sheriff's office and Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue conducted a search in the area near her home on Cathedral Oaks and North San Marcos Road, according to KEYT. Station general manager Mark Danielson released a statement:

This morning we learned that a beloved member of the KEYT family, Paula Lopez has gone missing. 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. 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. For now, on behalf of KEYT and NPG of California our thoughts and prayers are extended to Paula as well as her family and those searching to find her. We hope for her safe and speedy return.

"Station General Manager Mark Danielson released a statement saying it has been in touch with Lopez's family and that they and authorities are doing everything possible to find her," the Ventura County Star reported. Lopez is married to Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa. They have three children. Lopez, who began her career as an intern at KEYT, returned to the station in 1996.

The Santa Barbara sheriff says foul play is not suspected, but that Lopez's family is concerned for her welfare.

Just after 10 a.m. this morning, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office received a call from concerned family members that KEYT News Anchorwoman Paula Lopez was missing. Ms. Lopez is a well-known and familiar face in the Santa Barbara community. Her last known location was at her home located near Cathedral Oaks Road and North San Marcos Road. 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.

After receiving the call, Deputies responded to her home and began looking for Ms. Lopez. Two K-9 units and a Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit helicopter were called in to assist with the search of her home and surrounding area. Deputies, along with Search and Rescue personnel and Detectives are continuing to look for Ms. Lopez.

She is 48 years old, Hispanic and is approximately 5'2" tall. She was last seen wearing a black sweat suit and tennis shoes. If you see her or have any information on her whereabouts you are asked to call the Santa Barbara County Detectives Bureau at 681-4150.

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