Thursday, September 4, 2008

Search is on for missing Goleta girl


Santa Barbara County sheriff’s detectives are looking for a missing 14-year-old Goleta girl who was last seen at the city’s fireworks show on Monday night at Girsh Park.
Sgt. Alex Tipolt, a sheriff spokesman, said the missing girl is Christina Veloz-Payne. He said the girl went to the fireworks show with friends, but before the show could begin, reportedly told friends she planned to walk the 2.1 miles back to her home on San Milano Drive.

A statement released by the sheriff’s department said Christina was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, black hooded sweatshirt, black Dickies shorts, white socks and black Vans shoes.
The statement described the girl as being Hispanic. She has brown hair, brown eyes and a scar on the right side of her head. She is 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds.
Tipolt said Christina has not been known to run away, and is being considered a missing person.
When asked about the nearly two-day span it’s taken to inform the public, Tipolt said the Sheriff’s Department was notified of the missing girl on Tuesday, and he didn’t hear about it until late this morning. After hearing the news, Tipolt, the Sheriff Department’s public information officer, sent out a news release.
“I put out something as soon as I could,” he said. “I don’t know what the delay was.”
Tipolt said K-9 units are searching the area for clues. The girl’s most likely route home would have been to take Phelps Road east to Storke Road, which she would have followed over the freeway to Calle Real.
“We’re basically exhausting all of our resources trying to find her,” Tipolt said. “We have no information as to where she may have gone, who she may be with or what may have happened to her.”
Anyone with information about Christina’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department by dialing 911, or calling any of the following numbers: 681-4168, 681-4150 and 681-4100.

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