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California teen who vanished last year is found in Nevada; stepfather arrested

A police chief told a local newspaper that finding Katauna Whisenant, 14, was a “best-case scenario.”
/ Source: NBC News

A California teenager who disappeared last summer was found in Nevada and her stepfather was taken into custody, authorities said.

Katauna Whisenant, 14, was located by Nevada State Police, and her stepfather was arrested on an active warrant, the police chief in the Northern California town of Crescent City, where the girl is from, said in a statement Sunday.

Police Chief Richard Griffin told the Press Democrat, a California newspaper, that she was found unharmed during a routine traffic stop.

In his statement, Griffin described the girl as a “runaway.” He told the Press Democrat that the stepfather faces allegations of keeping a child from the parents.

“Since I’m a parent myself, I could imagine what it would be like for my daughter to be gone that long. I was glad to be able to make that call to the parents,” he told the newspaper. “It was the best-case scenario.”

Katauna had last been seen in Crescent City, near the Oregon state line, on July 23, the city’s police department said in a statement.

The FBI warned last month that she was “on the road” with her stepfather, who was from Santa Rosa, 55 miles north of San Francisco, NBC Bay Area reported.

It wasn’t immediately clear why they were in Nevada.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com.