• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Mentally ill woman held, family not contacted

November 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man who thought his wife was missing for five days finds out where she's been. But now he wants to know why authorities did not tell him.He now knows she is safe, but he is still trying to understand why it took so long for him to find that out.

After Eyewitness News reported Noemi Venegas was found Thursday, her husband, David Venegas, was notified. He was told his wife was safe at a nearby hospital. But after the ordeal of the worry he went through, he's angry and wants answers.

Noemi Venegas was at a local hospital Friday. Her family was looking for some answers from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. They want to know what happened to the wife and mother of five after she was released from the county jail Tuesday night.

David Venegas' search for his missing wife, Noemi, is over, but the questions are just beginning.

"Just a lot of things right now that aren't adding up," said Venegas.

The 39-year-old mother of five suffers from epilepsy and mental illness. Last Thursday she was arrested and charged with domestic abuse after she lashed out at her husband.

Venegas says he asked the arresting officer to take his wife to a mental facility. That didn't happen.

Instead, Noemi was taken to the Robert Presly Detention Center in Riverside. According to records, she was released five days later. Venegas says no one contacted him.

"They just said that she was released and that was it. They didn't say if she was put on a hold, transferred, nothing," said Venegas.

Out of concern for his wife's safety, Venegas says he filed a missing-persons report when she failed to turn up. Thursday night he finally got the call he'd been praying for.

"Right after the fliers got here, we got the call," said Venegas. "We were excited."

He was told his wife was at Riverside County Regional Medical Center on a mental evaluation.

"She was taken from Robert Pressley and she was put on a 5150 hold, taken to ETS [Emergency Treatment Services]. From there she was transferred over to Riverside Regional," said Venegas.

Now Venegas wants to know why he was not contacted for days by authorities or hospital personnel.

Nonetheless, he is grateful that his wife was found safe.

"She was happy, she lit up like a light when she saw us and especially when she saw the baby," said Venegas.

Noemi Venegas was still undergoing treatment at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center Friday. Meanwhile, her husband still wants to know what happened to his wife from the time she was released from jail up until the time the family was told she was at the hospital.


Load Comments