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KCAL9 Reporter Finds ‘Missing’ Tujunga Woman, 52

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TUJUNGA (CBS) —  Friends and family of Juanita Stephens — a resident of Tujunga — are asking for the public’s help to locate her.

Friends contacted the police Friday to conduct a welfare check on Stephens after they failed to hear from her for several days.

After investigating, police also found Stephens had not reported to work for a week.

(UPDATE Saturday, 6 p.m.) Juanita Stephens has been located and she is fine. In fact, it was KCAL9 reporter Amanda Burden who found the missing woman…by knocking on her front door. Stephens told Burden she hasn’t been kidnapped or harmed. She said she had been in the hospital for a week with chest pains and a cell phone that didn’t work. Burden has called the LAPD to tell them Stephens was at home.

Stephens lives in the 10200 block of Samoa Avenue in Tujunga. Officials have been unable to locate Stephens, 53, or her son.

Her apartment manager told police he saw Stephens Thursday between 3-5 p.m. Stephens’ vehicle is also missing.

Detectives say they have learned Stephens’ son, 28-year-old Jose Perez, has a past history of mental illness and making threats against his mother. He reportedly was just released from a mental facility a week ago.

Authorities say they got a ping on Stephens’ phone at around 9 p.m. Thursday near the Angeles Cred Highway near La Crescenta. They fear Stephens might have been taken against her will.

Police believe the duo are driving in her silver 2009 4-door Toyota Corolla. The license plate is 6HDR215.

Stephens is Puerto Rican with black hair, brown eyes. She is 5 feet 7 inches and weighs about 160 pounds. She has a tattoo of a bracelet on her right ankle.

Jose Perez has black hair, brown eyes, stands about 6 feet tall, and weighs 210 pounds.

Anyone with information regarding Stephens is urged to contact Foothill Community Police Station at (818) 756-8861.

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