KEYT Anchor Paula Lopez Reported Missing

UPDATE: Returns Home Eight Hours After Disappearing and Prompting Massive Search

Originally published 4:07 p.m., February 27, 2013
Updated 7:19 p.m., February 27, 2013
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Paula Lopez
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Paula Lopez

[UPDATE, 7: 19 p.m.]: Paula Lopez has been found. According to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Kelly Hoover, her family members called authorities at around 5:30 p.m. to report she was home and safe. Deputies responded to the residence and confirmed she was there. “We are not commenting on the reasons surrounding why Ms. Lopez went missing due to the fact it is a private family matter,” Hoover said.

[UPDATE, 5:08 p.m.]: Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Kelly Hoover just released more information on Lopez’s disappearance.

Just after 10 a.m., Hoover said, authorities received a call from concerned family members. They said the last time they had talked to Lopez was at 9:30 a.m. and that her last known location was her home near Cathedral Oaks Road and North San Marcos Road. “No foul play is suspected but her family is concerned about her welfare,” Hoover said in a statement.

Deputies, assisted by a helicopter and two K-9 units, have been searching the area throughout the day. So has the county’s Search and Rescue team.

Lopez, who’s been with KEYT since 1985 and anchors the 6:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. broadcasts, is 48 years old and 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,” said Hoover.

[ORIGINAL REPORT]: KEYT anchor Paula Lopez has been reported missing, according to station general manager Mark Danielson. He released a statement on KEYT’s website at 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. It reads:

“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.”

Lopez is married to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa. The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department is handling the case, but did not immediately return requests for comment.

Check back for updates.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Hey people be on the look out. I comment only to bring this to people's attention .

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So they spoke to her at 9:30 and reported her missing at 10?

rockstar2000 (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 5:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I just hope she's OK.

Botany (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 5:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Could it be a typo? I'm wondering if they meant they spoke with her last night at 9:30 p.m. (rather than a.m.). I can imagine that in the stress of hurrying to update this story, something was mistyped.

Hoping for the best.

Cayucan (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess if they spoke to her at 9:30 this morning, there could be more to the story, such as there's a strong suspicion she might do harm to herself.

A very sad story and I hope one that has a happy resolution!

Native1 (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 6:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

From Huffington Post:

"Santa Barbara Sheriff's deputies said that Lopez, 48, called in sick to work last night."

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 6:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Noozhawk (select Local News): 3:35pm, SO search suspended, turned over to investigators, foul play not suspected. Lopez spoke to family members 9:30am today. The "Missing" article is still there, found this by selecting the News tab, top of page.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 6:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

KEYT reported a few minutes ago that she is at home. Good news!

elaz (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 6:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Better a false alarm than a tragedy for sure.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 7:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Paula Lopez: One of the few people in the media who prounounces "February" correctly. (Most say "Febuary")

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 7:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seasoned veteran, let's hope they put her experience and skills to greater use.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 8:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Take the weekend off and give a public message about it all on Monday.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2013 at 8:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Let me get this straight: wife of judge "goes missing" enforcement reacts as though she was a kidnapped infant, pulls out all the stops, generates $100k in expenses throughout the day...and now it's all a big "nevermind"?

Who pays this bill? If this was a "false alarm", who gets charged with the crime of filing the false report?
If this was ANYone else, there a) would not have been any search by authorities for at least 24 hours b) would be constant media updates and investigatory reports and public humiliation for all concerned.

Oh...wait...I forgot: the SB media/courts/celeb machine is really all one big C.Y.A. business. And this is simply "business as usual".
The only thing missing here is Cam Sanchez stepping on his tongue.

Beachgirl77 (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2013 at 10:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

where was king harris during this time?

redbunz (anonymous profile)
March 8, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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