Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 11:48 am | Fair 58º


Local News

4-Year-Old Santa Maria Girl Found Safe, Reunited with Family

Police say missing youngster told officers she was hiding behind a bush during the three-hour neighborhood search

A 4-year-old Santa Maria girl returned home safely late Friday after going missing for several hours, Santa Maria police said.

Police Sgt. Jack Dunn, a department spokesman, said Janell Jarneski returned to her home in the 1300 block of Valley Oak Place at about 11:15 p.m. Friday, explaining to officers that she “was hiding behind a nearby bush while police were searching for her.”

Dunn said the girl was in good health and was released to her family.

Police had received a call at about 8:15 p.m. Friday that the girl had vanished while playing outside her home. She had last been seen about 10 minutes before she disappeared.

Dunn said a number of concerned citizen volunteers joined authorities in the search for the girl.

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