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Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : AT THE SCENE : Kidaping Suspect May Get Needed Assistance

March 15, 1987|Staff writer Bob Schwartz compiled the Week in Review stories

The call came Sunday from a pay telephone in the heart of Garden Grove's Vietnamese shopping district. Dana Jennifer O'Hair, a troubled 16-year-old who had disappeared with a friend's child the Thursday before, was tired of hiding and wanted to surrender to police.

A police officer who knew O'Hair from a previous arrest picked her up.

Kidnaping charges were filed against O'Hair, but authorities said they did so only so they could be sure she would get help.

"We're not looking to put her away," said Huntington Beach Police Sgt. Jim Dahl. "By filing charges we're keeping her in the system and hope that she gets it (help)."

O'Hair, a runaway, had been staying at the Huntington Beach apartment of Rungrachanee Ruengsri and her uncle, Suchait Ruengsri, whom O'Hair had met at a restaurant.

But when Ruengsri found some of her jewelry in O'Hair's purse, she asked the teen-ager to leave.

Thursday morning, Ruengsri, 19, found that O'Hair--who delivered a premature, stillborn daughter last October--had disappeared along with Ruengsri's 3-year-old daughter, Jennifer Lend Ruengsri.

The child was found unharmed Friday night, wandering alone near Anaheim's Sage Park, and she was reunited with her mother.

O'Hair's mother, who did not disclose her name, pleaded at a press conference Saturday for her daughter to turn herself in.

"I've been trying to get help for Dana for three years and have come upon a blank wall," she said. "The police kept telling me there is nothing they can do until she breaks a law."

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