KEYT news anchor Paula Lopez has returned home. Family members contacted the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to confirm that she is safe at home.
The family will not make any further comments regarding the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department led the search effort along with Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue.
A family member alerted Sheriff deputies of her disappearance just after 10 a.m. Wednesday. Sheriff spokesperson Kelly Hoover said Lopez was last seen near her home on Cathedral Oaks and North San Marcos Road.
Lopez began her career with KEYT in 1985 as an intern. She left to anchor in Los Angeles, but returned to NewsChannel 3 in 1996.
Station General Manager Mark Danielson released the following statement: "This morning we learned that a beloved member of the KEYT family, Paula Lopez has gone missing. We have been in touch with her family and know they, as well as local authorities, are doing everything possible to find her safe and sound. It is clearly a difficult time for her family and our own family at KEYT. All of us at KEYT stand ready to assist in any way we can. For now, on behalf of KEYT and NPG of California our thoughts and prayers are extended to Paula as well as her family and those searching to find her. We hope for her safe and speedy return."