> Update, 9:50pmET: Lopez’s family alerted KEYT that Lopez had returned home around 6:30pmPT and is safe.
> Original story: Paula Lopez an anchor at KEYT the ABC affiliate in Santa Barbara, has gone missing.
A family member alerted the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office of her disappearance around 10 this morning. Lopez was last seen near her home in the hills above Santa Barbara. Lopez’s disappearance made news on all the Santa Barbara stations as well as in Fresno, Palm Springs and on Los Angeles stations. Lopez worked in the LA market in the 1990s. Authorities do not suspect foul play.
Lopez, who is married to Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Frank J. Ochoa, began her career at KEYT in 1985, as an intern. She returned to the station in 1996. Currently she anchors the 6:30 and 11pm newscasts.
KEYT General Manager Mark Danielson released the following statement:
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.