By Eric Heinz

A 13-year-old San Clemente girl who was widely reported as missing on local social media sites has been found “safe” and was returned to her family, Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) stated on Thursday, April 4.

Samantha Lopez was located in Santa Monica after she’d left home on Monday, April 1, without notifying her parents. OCSD stated the girl left voluntarily.

“OCSD dedicated numerous patrol and investigative resources to locate Samantha,” OCSD stated. “She was found unharmed this morning along with a male juvenile and is back with her family.”

It is typically the policy of the San Clemente Times not to publish the name of minors involved in police activities short of violent felonies or other circumstances, but due to the prevalence of the name and photo published of the girl on Facebook and Instagram, we are publishing it today as to not cause confusion.

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