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Nancy Salas, California, found alive

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Nancy Salas, California, found alive

Post  AnnaEsse on Fri 14 May - 6:29

Fox News

GLENDALE, Calif. -- A woman whose disappearance sparked a massive
search in the canyons northeast of Los Angeles was found alive and well
Thursday in central California, but it's unclear how or why she ended up
nearly 300 miles from her home, police said.


Family and friends of Nancy Salas tearfully embraced and offered
prayers of thanks in the family's living room after hearing that the
22-year-old was in Merced police custody.


Salas was last seen around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday after telling her
family she was going on her usual run in Chevy Chase Canyon. She left
her cell phone, keys and car behind at the family's home in Glendale,
which is several miles north of Los Angeles.


Merced police spokesman Lt. Andre Matthews told the Merced Sun-Star
that Salas walked into a carpet store in that town, which is more than
250 miles northwest of Los Angeles.


The young woman was in tears and asked an employee to call 911,
showroom coordinator Melanie Mittelsteadt told the newspaper. She said
she overheard Salas tell the emergency dispatcher something about a
knife and a kidnapping.
Salas didn't appear to be injured and was wearing black windbreaker
pants, running shoes and a T-shirt, Mittelsteadt said.


What was considered a suspicious disappearance for more than a day
abruptly changed course earlier Thursday when police discovered that
Salas had misled her parents by telling them she was attending the
University of California, Los Angeles.


The school reported that the fourth-year student and sociology major
was last enrolled at UCLA in fall 2008.


"There is obviously deception; I don't want to call it a double
life," Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz had said.


Her mother and father had planned a graduation ceremony for their
daughter, but didn't seem concerned Thursday about UCLA's claims that
she didn't attend the school. Both parents, wearing UCLA T-shirts,
hugged relatives and friends and looked forward to seeing their daughter
Thursday night or Friday.


"Everything has ended up beautifully," the woman's father Henry
Salas, said in Spanish. "It's incredible the help that we had --
roommates, friends, friends from the university, friends from church."


Her mother, Joanna Salas, smiled broadly as the crowd took turns
offering her hugs.

"I've come back to life," she said.


Salas' disappearance prompted a sweeping but futile search by police
officers and volunteers who were aided by rangers, bloodhounds and a
helicopter. Detectives checked her cell phone and computer records for
clues.


Friends and family members passed out flyers with her photograph and
her friends mobilized on Facebook to exchange information and organize
searches.


Lorenz said Glendale detectives had not been able to speak to Salas
yet and that it remained unclear why she was in Merced, a town of around
80,500 people that has a UC campus and lies in the heart of the
agricultural Central Valley.


She is not believed to have any relatives in that town, he said.


He said police were questioning Salas' 19-year-old brother, Henry
Salas Jr., who had been acting as the family's spokesman.

Lorenz said there was no indication that any crime occurred."
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