The Turlock teenager who went missing six days ago has been found safe and with her biological mother, who could be facing criminal charges in the future.
Deanna Marie Gemperle, 16, went missing on the morning of June 26. She was last seen in the area of Crane Park and was expected home for lunch, but never returned.
The teen’s father and custodial parent, Stephen Gemperle, reported his daughter’s disappearance to the Turlock Police Department. Investigators believed the teenager may have run away on her own volition because some personal items were also missing and her father told them it might be connected to an ongoing custody issue with her mother, Kathleen Hoskins.
“The facts did not meet the requirements of an Amber Alert, however, our investigations team put out a nationwide alert identifying the teenager and request to contact us immediately if located,” the police department stated in a news release.
The family had been growing increasingly worried about her whereabouts and disclosed to the public that she had a serious medical condition that required regular medications and weekly care by a coordinated treatment team.
Around 3:45 p.m. Monday, the Turlock Police Department were notified by law enforcement in the state of Nevada that the teenager was last seen in Winnemucca, Nevada at a fast food restaurant in the company of an adult female.
Deanna’s discovery in Nevada came about because Meredith Holloway of Oakdale was in the right place at the right time. Holloway was in a truck full of girls headed to compete in the Silver State International Rodeo in Nevada. They had stopped at Taco Bell and were in the drive through lane when Holloway spotted a girl walking out of the restaurant and get into a car about two spots behind them.
“I said out loud to our truck load of rodeo girls from all over the state, ‘that's the missing girl from Turlock,’" Holloway said. “I brought her father’s Facebook page and showed them her picture and said ‘I need to go check, I have to get out.’"
Holloway and one of the girls got out of the truck and walked back through the line of cars, taking a surreptitious glance at the teenager.
“I don't know but for some reason thought it would be less obvious if a teenager was with me. So, we walked back by her car and I just knew it was her. I had goose bumps as I walked passed her,” Holloway said.
They didn’t want to draw attention by taking a picture of the license plate number, so they quickly memorized it. Holloway also noticed that the car had a Modesto Subaru tag in the front window.
“We followed them out of the parking lot and on to I80 east, but they were pretty far in front of us,” Holloway said. “So, we took our exit, and the Winnemucca Police Department sits on the corner. We stopped and went in and explained the situation and gave our information. The police were very responsive and the outcome was perfect.”
The police department coordinated with Nevada law enforcement in that area and at approximately 5 p.m. Monday, Nevada Highway Patrol in Elko, spotted the vehicle and made a traffic stop on the vehicle.
The officers found Deanna and Hoskins in the vehicle. Hoskins was the driver.
“The teenager is safe and in the protective custody of law enforcement,” the police department stated. “The father has been notified and is on his way to pick up his daughter.”
The Turlock Police Department said the investigation into the case is ongoing and that Hoskins could possibly face criminal charges in the future.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Detective Tim Redd 209-664-7325. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.