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Police search for aspiring actress missing since November

March 5, 2012 |  5:42 pm

Satara Stratton, left, and Paul Constantinescu

When Satara Stratton came to Los Angeles from her home in Tennessee, she aspired to become an actress and eventually a director.

Six years later, her mother is looking for her, fearing she is under the influence of a registered sex offender and addicted to heroin. Sharon Stratton says her daughter, who used to call or text her every day, hasn’t been in touch since Nov. 22.

Los Angeles Police Department missing persons investigators are looking for Stratton, as well as for a man named Paul Constantinescu, 46, a registered sex offender on the state’s Megan’s Law website whom Stratton had met.

Det. Carmine Sasso, who runs the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit, said the basic story line is not unique.

“These young people come out from another state, some small town, to a multimillion population, trying to hit it big and they get caught up," he said. "You have these predators who prey on these individuals.”

Satara Stratton -– 5 foot 3 and 90 pounds -– had been working at the Disney Store on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Then her life began a downward slide, her mother said. She was mugged outside a bank and hospitalized, causing her to miss a semester of school. Also, a fellow employee at a restaurant began extorting money from her and harassing her, her mother said.

While making a movie Satara met Constantinescu, who runs a rubber stamp company on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Sharon Stratton is a professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.

The last time mother and daughter spoke was Nov. 2, to arrange for Satara to fly home to be with her grandmother before she died, Sharon Stratton said. Satara’s grandmother, with whom she was especially close, died in January, Sharon Stratton said.

“She would have never missed that,” said Sharon Stratton. “She had never, ever done anything until these ... men came into her life. She wasn’t into drugs."

Investigators have visited the address where Constantinescu is registered, but he was gone, Sasso said.

Satara Stratton is considered a “voluntary missing” case, he said.

“On the surface, she’s an adult and can do whatever she wants,” said Sasso. “But you start digging below the surface and you find these connections and you can’t ignore these connections. So where is she?”

Constantinescu is 6 feet tall, 170 pounds with brown hair, according to his description on the state’s Megan’s Law website listing registered sex offenders. The website lists his offenses as attempted lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14 and attempted forced oral copulation with a minor under 14.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call (213) 996-1800.

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-- Sam Quinones

twitter.com/samquinones7

Photo: Satara Stratton, left, and Paul Constantinescu. Stratton's mother said Satara was at one point arrested for possession of narcotics in a hospital. Credit: Culver City Police Department and LAPD