Missing 69-year-old woman found unharmed in Compton (updated)

61817 full
61817 full

A 69-year-old woman from Dana Point who authorities feared had been abducted and was missing for two days has been found unharmed. Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said deputies found Cheryl Jean Moser in her car alone with her two dogs around 3:45 a.m. Thursday morning at a 76 gas station in Compton.

"She was extremely tired, a little bit confused when she was located, so investigators are going to let her go home, rest up and then try to question her."

The woman's car was with her, Sgt. Ron Hester of the Los Angeles County sheriff's Compton Station told a local wire service.

Meanwhile, investigators are looking at surveillance tapes of Moser with a heavily-tattooed man in his 30s at gas stations in Laguna Beach, the San Fernando Valley and Pomona. They're seen buying small food items and gas.

Deputies say Moser's family does not know who the man is or what his intentions were, but they'd like him to come forward so they can talk to him.

"The big question is, of course, who the male is that was depicted in the surveillance photos at gas stations with her," Amormino said. "According to family members, no one's ever seen this guy before. They do not know who he is. So, exactly what his intentions were, we do not know. Whether his intentions were honest or not honest, if he held her against her will, if he was an opportunist, we don't know at this time. We would very much like to find out."

Amormino explained how the woman was found.

"Well, you have an elderly lady sitting in a gas station for no apparent reason. They ran her plate, and her license plate — as well as her name — was placed in a critical missing persons list, so as soon as they ran her plate, they knew she was missing. They contacted investigators, we contacted the family, the family went down to pick her up."

Moser left her home around 8 a.m. Tuesday to visit a Verizon store to see if her wet iPhone could be saved, but she never came back, Amormino told a local wire service.

It was "strictly out of character for her not to come home," he said.

This story has been updated.

With contributions by KPCC wire services

blog comments powered by Disqus