East Palo Alto girl missing since meeting man at shopping center Saturday

EAST PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A 15-year-old East Palo Alto girl who suffers from bi-polar disorder has gone missing with a Petaluma man she met online, a Petaluma police sergeant said.

Hope Seagler and her grandmother went to the Target store in the East Washington Place shopping center at 401 Kenilworth Drive on Saturday to meet 19-year-old Andrew Joseph Newman, Sgt. Ed Crosby said. The teens began a long-distance relationship after they met online.

Seagler's grandmother reported her granddaughter missing around 5:45 p.m. when she didn't show up at a designated time where she would be picked up, Crosby said.

Police officers checked addresses in Petaluma associated with Newman and learned he had removed an ankle bracelet tracking device he was required to wear following a conviction in 2014 for misdemeanor domestic violence and false imprisonment, Crosby said. Newman was not on home confinement and there is a no bail warrant for his arrest for violating his probation.

Seagler changed her identity to "Hope Newman" on her Facebook profile, hasn't answered her phone or contacted friends or family, Crosby said. She has contacts in Visalia and East Palo Alto, and Newman has family and contacts in Lucerne in Lake County and in Brentwood.

It appears Seagler went willingly with Newman and there is no indication Newman intends to harm Seagler, Crosby said. Seagler, however does not have her medication for bi-polar disorder, and her family is worried she could have a manic-depressive episode without her medicine.

Police believe the two teens are traveling in a green, 1998 4-door Volvo sedan with a California license plate 3WPD421.

Anyone with information about the teens' whereabouts is asked to contact Petaluma police at (707) 778-4372 or Detective Tami Shoemaker at (707) 778-4444.
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