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Local News

KEYT’s Paula Lopez Absent Again from Newscasts

It's unclear whether the anchor's hiatus is related to the same medical issues that led to her disappearance in February

KEYT News anchor Paula Lopez has been noticeably absent from behind the news desk the past two weeks, less than a month after an inaugural broadcast return that followed her brief disappearance.

Whether the hiatus has been prompted by the same medical issues she said led to her disappearance in February — and the all-out search to find her — is unknown.

What is clear, however, is that Lopez returned to the airwaves of the Central Coast’s ABC affiliate station on April 8, alongside C.J. Ward, and was last seen on air April 19.

KEYT general manager Mark Danielson told Noozhawk that he could not comment on an employee’s health or personal issues.

“I can tell you that KEYT and NPG continue to wish Paula well,” Danielson said. “I don’t have any information on when Paula might be able to return to work.”

Lopez, a 48-year-old mother of three, told Noozhawk last month that a combination of working too much while neglecting medical issues — including pneumonia and dehydration — caused a deterioration of her health on the morning of Feb. 27, when she was reported missing. She returned home safely eight hours later.

Lopez, KEYT officials and law enforcement have declined to elaborate further on what “medical issues” prompted the search, which was launched just 30 minutes after she was reported missing near her home in the foothills west of Santa Barbara.

In an interview last month, Lopez, who is married to Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa, defended the swift actions of law enforcement, thanked supporters and expressed excitement at returning to work.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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