VAN NUYS (CNS) - A missing 13-year-old girl who lives in Van Nuys has been found safe and reunited with her family, while police continue to search for a male transient who apparently still has the family's SUV.
Maria Roman was found about 8:20 a.m. at a friend's house after being reported missing hours earlier. But the man she was last seen with, a transient named Michael Stewart, remains missing.
Los Angeles police held a news conference Sunday afternoon to ask for the public's help to find Stewart. Police said the girl was unharmed in any way and that she was only with Stewart about two hours, then stayed away from home on her own overnight.
LAPD Sgt. Dave Cueto told ABC7 that the girl never felt threatened at all by Stewart.
“At this point our detectives are satisfied with their investigation. The suspect will have to answer for grand theft auto,” Cueto told the station.
According to police, Maria and her family befriended Stewart. On Saturday, the girl left with Stewart in the family's 1998 Nissan red Pathfinder, California License plate 8CHH187.
Stewart is Hispanic. He stands 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.
He last was seen wearing a black shirt, gray pants and black and white shoes. He said to be 45 to 50 years old.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Stewart was asked to call the Laud's West Valley juvenile detectives at (818) 374-7730 or the 24-hour LAPD Tipline at (877) 527-3247. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222- 8477.
Photo: Getty Images