Thursday, January 27, 2011
Michelle McMullen: FOUND
Police in Oakland, California, have arrested 30-year-old Michelle McMullen, who disappeared from Harrisburg in September 2008 while police were investigating the theft of more than $2,000 from a Susquehanna Township church where she worked.
Investigators believed she took off — leaving her son behind — to avoid prosecution, while her parents said she was abducted.
McMullen's story was the feature of Investigation Discovery’s “Disappeared” in February 2010 that was shown in multiple reruns, and police say they received a tip from a person who had seen the show. The episode, titled “The Long Drive Home,” led the Oakland Police Department's Fugitive Task Force to McMullen's job at a beauty supply store.
She is being held in the Almeda County Jail awaiting extradition to Harrisburg to face charges of theft and forgery.
McMullen knew of the church-theft investigation weeks before she disappeared, Susquehanna Township police said. In September 2008, she drove her 6-year-old son from Louisiana, where she was attending school, to stay with her parents in Harrisburg while she finished her schooling. Her family reported her missing after she didn't return to school. McMullen's car was found in Hagerstown, Md., a little more than a week after she disappeared.
McMullen's mother, the Rev. Lillie McMullen, said that her family has remained "prayerful" during the time her daughter was missing.
After hearing the news that her daughter had been located, she said, "We're excited and we're thanking God that's she's been found alive."