SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA.com) — The family of Paula Lopez — the KEYT anchorwoman who disappeared for several hours Wednesday — made a statement this afternoon saying her disappearance was caused by a medical condition.
The statement read, “We are extremely grateful to the Santa Barbara community and to the multitude of Paula’s well-wishers who shared in our concern for Paula yesterday. As a family, we were very alarmed because Paula was experiencing a medical condition that caused her to be unable to communicate with us. She is now receiving appropriate medical care and we hope and expect that her treatment will enable her to recover quickly. ”
The statement added, “We would especially like to thank the representatives of the Office of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff and its Search and Rescue Unit for the diligent and professional assistance they provided to us during Paula’s medical emergency.”
Mark Danielson, KEYT’s General Manager, also issued a statement: “On behalf of the KEYT family, we are thrilled to learn that our beloved friend and colleague Paula Lopez is now safe. We are looking forward to her quick recovery. At the request of the family, we will respect their wishes for privacy and refer all questions to local law enforcement who worked hard to find Paula safe and sound.”
Lopez started with KEYT in 1985 as an intern. She quickly worked her way up to anchor.
Lopez, 48, was a morning and afternoon anchor for KCAL9 in the early 90s and left in 1996 to return to Santa Barbara and KEYT to be closer to family.