San Francisco is known for the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, but beyond these picturesque scenes is a large homeless population.
That's why police say Jeffrey Easley brought Brittany Smith there, hoping to blend in with the homeless.
"In the mornings there's a lot of people that panhandle, especially in the area where they found her," said J.C. Edralin.
"Where they found her," that seemed almost unthinkable when Brittany Smith went missing.
On December 6th, police located Tina Smith's body in her Glenvar home.
An Amber Alert was issued for her daughter Brittany.
Police believe Jeffrey Easley, Tina Smith's online boyfriend, adbucted the 12-year-old three days earlier.
Authorities were so concerned about her safety Easley's mother made a personal plea to her son.
"I know you are taking care of Brittany, if you just take her somewhere and drop her off," said Sallie Martin, Jeff Easley's mother.
We also heard several emotional pleas from Tina Smith's family, begging Easley to let the Glenvar Middle School student go.
"Please Jeff, we beg you. Please let Brittany come home. We need her to say goodbye to her mother," said Tracey White, Brittany Smith's aunt.
But as the days went on there were no confirmed sightings of Brittany or Easley.
On December 10th, one week after she disappeared, investigators got so desperate they released the survelliance video of Brittany and Easley buying camping equipment at the Salem Wal-Mart.
That night on our 6:00 p.m. news, an urgent e-mailed arrived just as our newscast was ending.
At 8:00 p.m., the Roanoke County Police chief announced live on our air, the two had been found in San Francisco.
"It is with a tremendous sense of relief that I say tonight that we've located Brittany," said Ray Lavinder, Roanoke Co. Police Chief.
A few hours later, I along with photographer, Lynn Eller, boarded a plane for California.
During a four-day stay, we found the camping site police say Brittany and Easley were staying at, not far from the the Pacific Ocean.
News 7 was also in court when Easley waived extradition back to Virginia and we interviewed the woman who spotted Brittany pandhandling outside a Safeway grocery store and called 911.
"I was just happy to know that she'll be home and say goodbye to her mom but it felt good that I saved someone, I saved a child," said Theresa Shanley, a San Francisco resident.
When Brittany returned, she was welcomed home a few days later in her father's hometown of South Boston.
Jeffrey Easley was brought back to Virginia by two Roanoke County detectives.
He remains behind bars and he's expected back in court in February.
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