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GROSSMONT CENTER-- Police investigating a missing person report involving a 19-year-old Bank of America employee said they have located the the woman and she is okay.
Police said the young woman, Sara Rafou, had decided to separate herself from her family. Her family had reported her missing last night and police originally labeled the disappearance "suspicous'' because of items found in the woman's car parked at Grossmont Center.
Friends had just gathered for a candle light vigil at the Grossmont branch of Bank of America when police announced the girl was found. La Mesa Police said detectives with the assistance of the California DOJ Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence conducted numerous interviews, followed extensive leads and sorted  through evidence in an effort to locate Rafou. Police said Rafou was located in San Diego County at 7:45 pm Thursday night. Police said it appears that evidence was staged in her vehicle to make it look like foul play was involved. 
Friends and colleagues of Rafou gathered outside the bank Thursday night and held a candlelight vigil, at one point gathering to share a recitation of the Lord's Prayer.

Patty Ruiz, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said friends were doing all they could to support the Rafou family.

  "We're here to support her and pray for her safe return," Ruiz said.

 In a way, their prayers were answered.


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Tags: Crime, La Mesa Police Department, Sara Rafou


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Comment by Steven S. Kane on December 27, 2010 at 12:07pm
I am very glad that this young woman is safe and unharmed.  However, how many law enforcement hours were expended trying to find her, not to mention the anxiety and fear which she inflicted on family and friends?  I have to believe that she could have found a solution to her family problems without the drama.  There are resources in the community available to help resolve this kind of situation.  Ms. Rafou's action indicate a level of self-absorbtion which is frightening.  Children "run away from home," but, hopefully, adults do not.
Comment by Janet Mercer-Grey on December 24, 2010 at 10:54am
Life is rough for everyone. Is her type of misery such that she gets a pass on committing a crime? She should be charged with a crime unless she pays the cost of leading police on this wild goose chase!
Comment by Karen Pearlman on December 24, 2010 at 10:14am
Shereen, you are so right. We don't know the circumstances of her home life, Chaldean or not. It is troubling that she "cried wolf" to be sure... for myriad reasons. And yet I am glad she is safe.
Comment by La Mesa Today on December 24, 2010 at 9:52am

This Message was originally posted on LaMesaToday's You Tube Channel and offers another view:

So, Sara ran away. I know life as a young Chaldean woman can be tough sometimes. You're overprotected and the boundaries set by your family don't go away, even when you become an adult. That being said, if she really didn't like her home life she should have left without causing so much drama. The personnel that put so much time and effort trying to find her could have been trying to find REAL victims of REAL crimes. It is also a mockery to anyone who is or knows someone who is missing. Which i

Comment by David Stanley on December 24, 2010 at 5:03am
"...it appears that evidence was staged ... to make it look like foul play ...". This cannot even be called "childishness". These are the actions of a self-centered, completely thoughtless stupid narcissistic woman totally enfatuated with herself. When a person willingly, and probably giggling whilst doing so, performs a stunt like this, knowing full well the anguish of her family, she should be cut off from future family contact. Dont teens learn great things today from MTV, Facebook, Twittering? Arent you proud of this empty headed pin head? "So glad she's safe!!!!!!!!" PAH! She has committed a crime and should not only be charged with this crime but be forced to pay the police for their efforts as well.
Comment by Karen Pearlman on December 23, 2010 at 11:15pm
So glad she is safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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