Missing Pennsylvania Woman Katie Stoner Found Safe

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
February 19, 2019USshare
Missing Pennsylvania Woman Katie Stoner Found Safe
Katie Stoner in a file photo. (Kittanning Police Department)

A woman who vanished on Valentine’s Day was found safe, Pennsylvania officials said.

The Kittanning Police Department said on Feb. 19 that Katie Stoner, 27, was found “safe and sound.”

“Thank you, everyone, for your help. Great job to all. Case closed. Foul play not suspected,” the department stated.

The New Castle Police Department said that Stoner was found when she was snared during the effort to find her.

“The department conducted numerous interviews/interrogations and traffic stops attempting to locate Stoner,” the department stated. “During this process, an officer did make contact with Stoner and Stoner did voluntarily come to the NCPD station.”

“It was determined Stoner was unharmed and she was residing at a residence in the City of New Castle,” police added.

Stoner’s family members were informed that she was found safe and police said the case is closed.

MISSING PERSON LOCATEDOn 2/19/2019 the NCPD continued the investigation into the missing female named Katie STONER…

New Castle Police Department 发布于 2019年2月18日周一

MISSING PERSON UPDATEKatie Stoner has been found safe and sound. Thank you everyone for your help. Great job to all. Case closed. Foul play not suspected.Thank you,Kittanning Police

Kittanning Borough Police 发布于 2019年2月18日周一

Police had posted information about two men who were considered persons of interest in the case but those posts were deleted after Stoner was found.

One of the men was Stoner’s ex-boyfriend and another was the brother of Stoner’s ex-boyfriend.

At one point, police said that bruises on Stoner’s face were inflicted by her ex-boyfriend, reported WPXI. The ex-boyfriend had outstanding warrants and was wanted by the police.

Family members told CBS that Stoner was staying in a women’s shelter. Her mother, Linda Prestopine, said she last spoke with her daughter on the day she vanished.

“I talked to her around 6 o’clock. She called me. Said she was going to go take a bath. And that was it,” Prestopine said.

She noted that her daughter has a history of mental health and drug addiction issues but she’d typically stay in touch. “She would always contact someone. Like, there would always be someone that had heard from her,” Prestopine said.

Missing Persons

Over 600,000 people go missing in the United States every year, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Many of the missing adults and children are found safe but others are never found or are found dead. “It is estimated that 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year, with approximately 1,000 of those bodies remaining unidentified after one year,” the center stated.

As of Jan. 22, there were 15,325 open missing person cases in addition to 12,449 open unidentified person cases. As of Dec. 31, 2017, the National Crime Information Center had over 88,000 active missing person cases across the country. But hundreds of thousands of cases were resolved that year. Approximately 651,000 missing person records were entered but about the same number were removed.

“Reasons for these removals include: a law enforcement agency located the subject, the individual returned home, or the record had to be removed by the entering agency due to a determination that the record is invalid,” the center stated.

The first 72 hours in a missing persons case is the most critical, according to criminology experts. That’s partly because investigators have the best chance of following up on leads before people’s memories start to fade, Dr. Bryanna Fox, former FBI agent and criminology professor at the University of South Florida, told ABC News.

“The information that law enforcement gets tends to be a little more accurate, and they are able to act on the information and hopefully get that person who is missing quicker,” Fox said. Later, there are fewer “bread crumbs,” or leads, to follow.

Dr. Michelle Jeanis, criminology professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said that time is of the essence because the missing person could be in danger.

After about a week, the person could very likely be dead, said former FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve Gomez. “There’s a certain point after about a week or two where you have to think, the potential that the missing person is dead and now it’s a matter of trying to find their body and bring closure to the family and to determine if you now have a homicide investigation, or suicide, or some kind of accidental death,” he said.

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