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Girl, 11, Found Safe After Disappearing With a Man She May Have Met on Chat Line

November 22, 2002|Christine Hanley | Times Staff Writer

Authorities late Thursday found an 11-year-old Stanton girl who had last been seen two days earlier leaving her neighborhood with a young man she may have met through a telephone chat line.

Orange County sheriff's investigators were in the process of interviewing Bianca "Nelly" Marie Nunez and the detained male "associate," said sheriff's Lt. Hayward Miller.

The girl appeared not to be injured. She had been returned to Stanton about 11 p.m. and appeared to be in good physical condition, authorities said.

On Tuesday, when last seen before her disappearance, Bianca and a 9-year-old friend were in front of their apartment complex on West 2nd Street about 7 p.m. when a male 16 to 18 with a shaved head pulled up in a blue or black van or sport utility vehicle, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.

Her playmate told investigators that Bianca appeared to know the man and climbed willingly into the passenger seat, Amormino said.

A leading theory is that she had "a prearranged meeting with someone she met on a chat line," he said.

Bianca shares a two-bedroom apartment with her mother, brother and sister in a complex that is about a mile from where 5-year-old Samantha Runnion was abducted in July.

Bianca often logged on to Internet chat rooms and is believed to have been in contact with teenage boys and men, her family said.

Relatives said that she also was a regular caller to a popular Orange County telephone party line and that she had arranged a number of dates that way.

On Thursday afternoon, 25 uniformed deputies canvassed Bianca's neighborhood.

An additional 25 sheriff's investigators interviewed witnesses, including friends, young men she has dated, and family members.

Authorities said FBI investigators were examining a friend's computer that Bianca used regularly.

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