San Francisco News
Woman hailed a hero after spotting abducted child
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Theresa Shanley knew something was wrong the moment she spotted a young girl panhandling outside a Safeway in San Francisco's Richmond District last Friday.
"She caught my eye. I thought it was strange that a man his age would be with a child or a young girl," she said.
Shanley says it sent a chill down her arms and once inside the store, she asked a clerk to call police.
"As I was waiting on the phone I thought my God could it be her, but I thought they're in Virginia, why would they come here. But when I was talking to the police officer I said it may be the girl from Virginia," she said.
The girl from Virginia turned out to be 12-year-old Brittany Smith who disappeared just a week before and with her was 32-year-old Jeffrey Easley.
Virginia police say the girl's mother, Tina Smith, was killed sometime on Dec. 3. They say Easley, her live-in boyfriend, is a potential suspect.
The following day, both Easley and Smith were caught on a surveillance tape getting camping equipment at a Walmart in Virginia. From there, the trail went cold and traveled 2,300 miles until Shanley spotted them at the Safeway.
Shanley recognized her after watching a show about the missing girl on CNN. She says it was her big brown eyes that caught her attention.
"She stared at me the whole time as I walked toward her, pass her, to pick up a cart to pulling out the cart. We didn't unlock our eyes," she said.
Easley remains under psychiatric observation and his extradition hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Smith left San Francisco on Monday and was reunited with her family in Virginia.
There is no better feeling than saving a child. So I'm glad I could help her," Shanley said.
Shanley told ABC7 News she never shops at the Ocean Beach Safeway, and that she only made a quick stop to get some dog food. As for the suspect, he said he was clean and shaven as opposed to a picture that showed him a goatee.
ABC7 News learned that the pair came to San Francisco because Easley Googled 'best place to be homeless' and San Francisco came as No. 1.
child abduction, san francisco news, lyanne melendez
- Frigid temperatures continue in the Bay Area 2 min ago
- Shooting victim found near school in Vallejo
- Palo Alto man says he was well-fed in North Korea
- Deep freeze grips most of United States
- 7 LA sheriff's deputies arrested in jail probe 44 min ago
- Dawson go-ahead field goal lifts 49ers by Seattle
- Facebook considers adding "sympathize" button
- Paul Walker memorial in California draws thousands
- Time announces finalists for Person of the Year
- Winter Spare the Air called for today
- Photos: Record low temperatures freeze the Bay Area
- abcnews: Newlyweds accused in thrill-kill murder
- roundup: Homeless shelter program; Windsor kidnapping
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Monday
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos