Family of Briefly Missing Anchorwoman Says Disappearance Was Caused by a Medical Condition
When Santa Barbara television news anchor Paula Lopez was found safe and sound Wednesday evening, her concerned family said they were not going to comment on her brief disappearance. On Thursday, her family ultimately issued a statement to explain that Lopez' disappearance was attributed to a "medical condition."The veteran KEYT-TV anchor and mother of three had reportedly last been seen at her own home at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. An extensive search ensued, which involved deputies, dogs and helicopters scouring the area for the 48-year-old woman, prompting some to raise eyebrows, since Lopez had not been gone the typical 24 hours law enforcement requests before launching a search.
Locals speculated the urgency had to do with Lopez' status as a well-known longtime media fixture, as well as her husband's role in the community as a judge.
Lopez, who spent six years of her career on KCAL-9 in L.A. in the early 1990s, was back at home by around 5:30 p.m.
In their statement, Lopez' family thanked law enforcement for their personnel and resources used in the search, according to CBS2. They briefly touched on what caused their panic at Lopez' disappearance:
"As a family, we were very alarmed because Paula was experiencing a medical condition that caused her to be unable to communicate with us. She is now receiving appropriate medical care and we hope and expect that her treatment will enable her to recover quickly. “
Further details about Lopez' medical condition were not made available. The family has requested privacy, and Lopez' home station has said they will respect their wishes and refer all inquiries to law enforcement.