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Missing woman discovered in hospital

Noemi Venegas had been missing for 48 hours until she was located at a hospital in Riverside.

November 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Noemi Venegas, a Riverisde woman who went missing after being released from jail, was found Thursday. She was admitted to the Riverside Regional Hospital after she was found wandering the streets without any clothes on.

The 39-year-old's husband, David Venegas had feared just this scenario. He and other family members had been frantically searching for Noemi, whom he described as mentally ill. "She doesn't know where she's at. She doesn't know what's really going on."

On Tuesday night the mother of five disappeared after she was released from the county jail in downtown Riverside.

"I think what concerns me most is she is epileptic. She's without her pills," said Venegas.

He said his wife suffers from bouts of mental confusion which cause her to lash out. Last Thursday he was forced to call law enforcement after such an episode. She was taken into custody and charged with domestic abuse against her husband.

"I mentioned to them she had been to a mental facility several times," said Venegas, who hoped the police would take her to a medical facility rather than jail.

He said within the last two months his wife received care at the Riverside County Psychiatric Center where she received treatment for epilepsy and mental health issues.

On Tuesday night Venegas went to the jail to pick his wife up. He waited for her release for two hours but had to get to his job so his two oldest children went back to get their mother but missed her release.

"The next day when I talked to the deputies at the jail they told me she had gotten out at 10:52. From that point on we don't know what happened to her," he said.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department inmate booking records show Noemi Venegas was released but does not give a time. The department would not comment on their policy for releasing inmates but said they cannot hold an inmate once they are free to leave.

"I am mad at myself," said Venegas. "We left so early. We were there 30 to 40 minutes before they let her out."


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