CARLSBAD — Carlsbad Police announced a missing teen was found unharmed in Temecula on Jan. 25 after a three-week disappearance that resulted in a police tipline being activated and a desperate plea by her family for the public’s help in finding her.
Christine Jelinek was reported missing on Jan. 4 after her mother called police and said the girl was not at her San Marcos home when the family awoke that morning, according to police records.
A media conference was later held and a sketch released of a man age 45 to 50, whom Christine was seen with at a restaurant the night before her disappearance in the area of Melrose Drive and Rancho Santa Fe Road in San Marcos.
Fliers were posted around the community and the National Center for Missing Children was also notified.
“A Good Samaritan noticed Christine walking down a street in Temecula, Calif., and recognized her from the circulated missing person’s information,” said Sgt. Steve Thomas, of the Carlsbad Police Department.
He said that person immediately notified the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Carlsbad police were contacted by Riverside County authorities on Jan. 25, at just after 10:30 a.m., and notified of the missing teen’s whereabouts.
Thomas said that she was not in the company of the man whose description was released to the public.
“Christine was walking down the road with others to a location where she could get breakfast,” he said.
She was found to be in good health and expected to go through the process of reunification with her family, he said.
An investigation found that the man in the released sketch was determined to not be involved in her disappearance and is no longer being sought by Carlsbad police.
It was originally believed that Christine met the male adult online.