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Missing disabled woman found

December 14, 2013
By DEVIN BEZEREDI - Salineville Reporter ( , The Review

SALINEVILLE - A 19-year-old Salineville woman with mental disabilities was located by law enforcement and returned to her family after going missing with an older, unidentified man on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Salineville Police Department was made aware of 19-year-old Chelsea Stofen's disappearance. Stofen was last seen by her family in Salineville on Tuesday with an unidentified white male. Her family became concerned when she did not return home the next day. Salineville Police Chief Andrew Straley said at the time of Stofen's disappearance that he believed she met the male suspect through social media. Straley noted that Stofen has a mental disability that causes her to have a mental age that is younger than her actual age.

The Salineville Police Department reached out to local, state and federal law enforcement to help find Stofen. Agencies including the FBI, BCI and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Agency in Washington D.C. all answered the call sending agents to the area.

Late Thursday night Straley says he received a phone call from Stofen who was in distress and asking for help. Stofen gave Straley a basic description of her surroundings, the vehicle she was had been driven in, and the suspect she was with. Straley said the phone call ended abruptly when connection was lost. Straley then provide the information to agencies involved in the search. Shortly after Straley received the frantic phone call from her, the Ambridge Police Department in Ambridge, Pa., received a 911 call from Stofen. That department was able to ping Stofen's phone and determine her location using GPS. Ambridge dispatchers were then able to convince Stofen to exit the house where GPS had located her and she was retrieved by police.

Straley declined to release the name of the male suspect with whom Stofen disappeared. However, he did note the male suspect is about 33 years old in age and from the Ambridge area. Straley says he expects criminal charges to be filed against the suspect but he declined to name specific charges because of the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Straley gave special thanks to the Lisbon Police Department and dispatch center, the Columbiana County Sheriff's Department, the FBI, BCI and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Everybody came together," said Straley. "It's wonderful to have an outcome like this because it could have been a lot worse."



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