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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Redding: Missing teen's story to air on national TV show

A missing Redding teen will again be the topic of a national television program on CNN’s HLN channel.

Jacob Berlinghoff, 33, father of Jean Marie Berlinghoff, 15, said he’s set to be on the “ISSUES with Jane Velez-Mitchell” show today at 4 p.m. In the show Velez-Mitchell “takes a stand on some of the most emotionally charged ISSUES of the day,” according to the show’s website.

Jean’s been missing since Nov. 10 and is believed to be with her uncle, Charles David Berlinghoff, 44, of Los Angeles. Charles Berlinghoff is wanted on a $100,000 warrant for keeping Jean from her parents.

Early after Jean went missing her family and the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office asked for an Amber Alert – an urgent bulletin telling law enforcement agencies and media of an abduction – issued in the case, but the California Highway Patrol office that issues Amber Alerts from Sacramento said the case didn’t meet the law’s criteria.

CHP officials and sheriff’s investigators said it appeared Jean went willingly with Charles Berlinghoff and she wasn’t in immediate danger of harm.

Jacob Berlinghoff said he didn’t know whether the Amber Alert angle of Jean’s story will be addressed on the ISSUES program or not. He said he wants to tell as many people as possible that the two many be hitchhiking or panhandling anywhere around the country.

“This is a great chance to get Jean’s picture out there,” he said.

Eight days after Jean’s disappearance the story was featured in a five-minute segment on the Nancy Grace show, which airs at 5 p.m. on the same channel. Both are on cable channel 56 in Redding.
Grace questioned why the CHP hadn’t issued an Amber Alert for Jean.
“I don’t understand why there was not an Amber Alert,” Grace said.

Charles Berlinghoff was convicted of sex crimes in Shasta and Tehama counties in the 1990s but the cases were later dismissed and expunged. Grace argued that his history should have been cause for an Amber Alert.
Berlinghoff said Jean’s story may again be on Nancy Grace but he’s not sure when. Jean’s mother, Heather Vega, 33, of Redding, was on the show via telephone during on Nov. 18 segment.

For his appearance on ISSUES, Berlinghoff said he’ll use Skype, a video conferencing program, from his home in northeast Redding.

Shasta County Secret Witness, Inc., and an anonymous donor have teamed up to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to Charles Berlinghoff’s arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information about Jean Berlinghoff’s whereabouts should contact Secret Witness at 243-2319 or the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office at 245-6540.

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