Girl who disappeared with transient found safe, suspect still on the run

A 13-year-old California girl who disappeared with a transient adult male on Saturday has been found safe, but the suspect she disappeared with is still on the run, according to police.

ABC reports Maria Josefa Roman, 13, who previously became friends with transient Michael Stewart, 50, around two weeks ago, was found safe and unharmed after fleeing with the man in her mother’s SUV. According to authorities, Maria said she was only with Stewart for a few hours, then stayed out overnight by herself.

LAPD Sgt. Dave Cueto stated the girl got out of the SUV, turned off her phone, and stayed at a park overnight. The SUV, a 1998 red Nissan Pathfinder with California license plate 8CHH187, has not been recovered.

“She was with the suspect for about two hours. Then after that she was on her own. There was nothing criminal at that point that involved the suspect and the 13 year old. At this point our detectives are satisfied with their investigation. The suspect will have to answer for the grand theft auto. She didn’t feel threatened at all.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Stewart is described as a Hispanic male with brown eyes and brown hair. He stands 5-feet-7-inches tall and weighs around 180 pounds, He was last seen wearing black and white shoes, grey pants, and a black shirt.

Anyone with any information on Stewarts whereabouts is urged to contact the West Valley Area Juvenile Detectives, at (818) 374-7730 or the LAPD at (877)LAPD-24-7. Anonymous information can be provided to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

[Feature Photo: Maria Roman/Police Handout]