15-year-old missing Redding girl found safe

15-year-old found safe after Redding kidnap

December 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A man is in custody after he was found with a 15-year-old girl who disappeared from her home in Redding. The girl is safe, but she's the second missing child case to turn up in San Francisco in the past two days.

Both cases involve girls close in age -- 12 and 15 -- both knew their abductors, and both cases were solved because someone in the city saw them and recognized them. Even police officers cannot believe these two cases happened within 24 hours of each other.

In Saturday's case, the two were found at 15th and Folsom. They were spotted by the 15-year-old girl's cousin who lives in the city.

Police say it was a coincidence the cousin was shopping at Sports Basement, saw her missing relative, and called police who found them a couple of blocks away near the car it appears they've been living in.

Jean Berlinghoff, 15, disappeared a month ago from her Redding home -- the same day her uncle, 44-year-old Charles Berlinghoff, also disappeared. Police say Jean seemed relieved to see them, but also worried for her uncle.

"She was kind of shocked upon our arrival and was briefly detained. The suspect was shocked and said, 'Oh, no,' so we knew something was wrong. They all provided us different names. Subsequently the cousins came back and gave the true identity of the abductor and the victim," said San Francisco Sgt. Frank Harrell.

A third person was with Jean and Charles. Police have detained him and don't know his involvement. All three of them are being held at the Mission police station, waiting for investigators from Redding to arrive.


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