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Missing Santa Barbara TV anchor Paula Lopez found safe

February 27, 2013 |  6:59 pm

Paulalopez

A Santa Barbara TV news anchor who had been reported missing was found and was safe with her family at home, her station reported Wednesday evening.

Paula Lopez, 48, of KEYT-TV Channel 3 had "gone missing" Wednesday morning, the news station said in a statement.

It was unclear Wednesday evening where Lopez had gone or how she came to be found. The news station told The Times that the situation was a "personal matter."

Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office deputies launched a search for the news anchor, scouring a large grassy area near her home and patrolling adjacent streets.  

Lopez, who spent six years at KCAL-TV Channel 9 in Los Angeles, co-anchors the Santa Barbara station's 11 p.m. broadcast.

Lopez has spent the better part of two decades at KEYT. She first joined the Santa Barbara station as an

intern in 1985, according to her biography on KEYT's website. She worked for at KCAL in Los Angeles, but returned to KEYT in 1996 to spend more time with her family.

Lopez is married to Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Frank Ochoa, her biography says. They have three children.

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--Andrew Blankstein and Robert J. Lopez

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