CBS2 Exclusive: O’Donnell Says Teenage Daughter Is Safe, Found In Barnegat Light

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Rosie O’Donnell revealed new details about her daughter on Tuesday night.

The teenager, who had been missing for about a week, has been found safe, O’Donnell tweeted.

Chelsea O’Donnell, 17, was last seen Tuesday, Aug. 11, Rosie said in a message on her website.

About six hours after she had taken to social media in an effort to find her daughter, Rosie tweeted that Chelsea was found safe and in police custody, she was believed to be headed home on Tuesday night.

South Nyack police said Chelsea was found in New Jersey just before 6 p.m.

As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, O’Donnell emerged from her South Nyack estate to say that her daughter had been found in Barnegat Light on the Jersey Shore.

Sgt. Daniel Wilson told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith that Chelsea was coherent, lucid and that her mental and physical condition appeared to be fine.

O’Donnell did not want to appear on camera, but spoke exclusively with CBS2’s Castro.

“Seven days, she’s been gone and she’s very mentally ill,” O’Donnell said.

She insisted that her daughter could not have been with friends.

“No, she doesn’t have any friends, she’s really not well,” she said.

According to Rosie O’Donnell’s website, Chelsea has stopped taking her medicine and is in need of medical attention.

“Chelsea, like millions of people, lives with mental illness,” Rosie O’Donnell’s representative Cindi Berger said. “It has been a difficult road for Chelsea and her family and they just want her back safe.”

Experts said one in five adolescents has a mental health disorder, and wandering away is not uncommon.

Police in Nyack had been searching for the teen in Rockland County since Sunday.

“We’re turning over stones as best we can, calling friends, contacts that she may have, trying to follow social media if possible,” said Sgt. Daniel Wilson, with South Nyack Police.

Chelsea was last seen at Rosie’s estate in South Nyack wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark, ripped blue jeans, grey Converse sneakers and a black backpack.

Nyack police suspect she ran away and there’s no reason to suspect foul play.

“There was no argument or anything that was any type of heated situation that led to that. There wasn’t any type of heat of the moment reason why she left,” Sgt. Wilson said.

 

Left: Chelsea O'Donnell's therapy dog Bear. Right: Chelsea O'Donnell on June 9, 2015. (credit: Rosie O'Donnell via Facebook)

Left: Chelsea O’Donnell’s therapy dog Bear. Right: Chelsea O’Donnell on June 9, 2015. (credit: Rosie O’Donnell via Facebook)

She left with her 6-month-old therapy dog Bear, who is a brown and black terrier that weighs about 9 pounds.

Investigators said after she disappeared, Chelsea spoke with her family from a blocked number, but did not say where she was or who she was with, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

 

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