A 69-year-old woman from Dana Point who went missing Tuesday is now back with her family. She was found early Thursday morning at a Compton gas station. Her disappearance remains a mystery and the Orange County Sheriff's Department is hoping surveillance video of her in Laguna Beach with an unidentified man will lead to answers. Vikki Vargas reports from Whittier for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 30, 2013.
A 69-year-old Dana Point woman who disappeared for two days after leaving home to get her phone fixed was found more than 50 miles away Thursday morning in Compton when a deputy saw her at a fuel station.
Cheryl Jean Moser left her home about 8 a.m. Tuesday to go to a Verizon store in Highland, but she never came back, Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said. Authorities said they believe Moser was forced to make credit card transactions to benefit her captor.
She was found at 3:50 a.m. Thursday at the fuel station at Alondra and Long Beach boulevards (map). Her son said she was not injured.
"She hasn't slept very much in the past couple days," said son Brian Johnson, who said deputies contacted his brother Thursday morning. "So far, she seems in pretty good spirits. She was really happy.
"It's a huge weight off the family. We're just so thankful."
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy on patrol noticed the woman talking with two people outside the fuel station. The deputy spoke with the woman and determined she was the individual reported missing Tuesday, according to authorities.
Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino was asked whether investigators determined what happened between the time Moser disappeared and when the deputy found her early Thursday.
"There are a lot of questions we have to ask her," Amormino said. "We're going to let her go home with her family, rest up."
Two dogs who were with Moser when she disappeared were with her Thursday morning, Amormino said.
Since she was last seen, several purchases had been made on Moser’s credit card, including at two gas stations in Van Nuys on Tuesday, and a Mobile station at 104 N. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.
Surveillance video at the Laguna Beach gas station captured images of Moser and a heavily tattooed man inside about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
No one in Moser's family recognized the tattooed man.