UPDATE: Missing Los Osos woman found north of Cambria

Suzanne Smith found in a barn, where she said she was since Tuesday

newsroom@thetribunenews.comSeptember 14, 2012 

Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue team members prepare to leave the search site just north of Piedras Blancas Lighthouse as darkness descends Friday. A Los Osos woman's car was found nearby Tuesday, but wasn't connected until Friday to a woman who was reported missing Monday.

BERT ETLING — betling@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

UPDATE:Suzanne Kay Smith, the 59-year-old Los Osos woman missing since Tuesday, was found Sunday morning in a barn on a ranch near Ragged Point.

Sheriff's spokesman Tony Cipolla said in a news release that authorities received a call from a person at the ranch at 10:30 a.m. Sunday who reported that the woman was in the barn. "The resident discovered Smith after hearing calls for help from a barn located on the property," which is at 18550 Highway 1.

"Smith told the resident that she had been involved in a car accident and had been on the property for the last week," Cipolla related.

Smith was conscious and alert when medical responders got to her, and she was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, Cipolla said.

ORIGINAL: The search for a missing Los Osos woman near where her truck was discovered north of Cambria was temporarily suspended Saturday afternoon, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office said. The search will resume today.

Meanwhile, the missing woman’s neighbor is “flabbergasted” it took three days before a search for Suzanne Kay Smith, 59, was begun Friday near where her truck had been discovered Tuesday.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla did not return calls Saturday regarding the delay.

Sheriff’s, CHP and search and rescue personnel, aided by three dogs, searched an area north of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse on Friday afternoon and Saturday for the woman who was reported missing Monday.

Jora Landis, Smith’s neighbor for 16 years, said Smith left her a note saying she “just needs to go sort out my head” and asked Landis to take care of her cat.

Smith, a longtime and well-liked Los Osos resident, according to people who know her, had been arrested Sept. 6 and released on bail early the next morning.

The self-employed gardener was booked on four felony charges of burglary and one of inflicting injury on an elder. That injury, Landis said, was not physical, but mental suffering caused to an elderly victim.

“She felt mortified,” Landis said of her friend. “She had impacted teeth and was in excruciating pain. She needed surgery on her hand.”

Landis last saw Smith the morning of Sept. 8, loading her truck with plants. After Smith didn’t return Monday, Landis reported her missing, saying in her report to the Sheriff’s Office, “find her truck and you’ll find her.”

The vehicle was found Tuesday and towed to Cambria.

Smith’s brother had been staying at her small house with her two dogs. Friday, he checked the mail and found a notice that the truck had been towed.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified and later that afternoon the search began.

The search ceased as darkness fell about 7:40 p.m. Friday, and resumed Saturday.

Cathy Chambers, a friend of Smith’s, turned up at the site Friday.

“Suzanne is always doing things for people,” she said, including helping with moves, networking and coaching a boys’ Little League team.

“She loves baseball and loves kids,” Landis said. “Police didn’t put one hand together with the other … It’s so sad. We lost three days. She’s a lovely person.” Smith is described as white with brown hair, brown eyes, 200 pounds and 5 feet, 7 inches.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 781-4550 or Crime Stoppers at 549-7867.

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