UPDATED: HEMET: Missing woman found safe, returned to family

UPDATE: May 4, 6 p.m.

HEMET – Sheriff’s officials announced they located a Hemet resident who had been reported missing the previous day.

“Hartzler was reunited with her family,” Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Robert Duckett said in a written follow-up Thursday, May 4.

“Deputies from the Hemet Sheriff Station located Stephanie Hartzler in the area of State Street and the Ramona Expressway in the City of San Jacinto,” Duckett explained. “Hartzler was unharmed and appeared not to have been a victim of any crime.”



HEMET – Sheriff’s officials are seeking the public’s help locating an “at-risk” missing person. The Hemet resident was reported missing by her family Wednesday, May 3. Authorities believe the victim may be in the company of her ex-husband and a phone call the victim made to her daughter led officials to list the woman as “at risk.”

The search and investigation into 46-year-old, Stephanie Hartzler’s disappearance began earlier today when deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet Station responded to a report of a missing person, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Robert Duckett explained in a written press release.

During their initial investigation, deputies learned Hartzler “called her adult daughter stating she was with her ex-husband,” Duckett explained. “Hartzler said she was in danger and to come find her.”

Officials identified Kenneth Biggs, 37, of Hemet, as Hartzler’s ex-husband and began to search for Hartzler and Biggs.

Hartzler was last seen in her white, 2009 Honda Accord, CA license 6GIC627

Authorities conducted an “extensive search” throughout the area for Hartzler, Biggs and her vehicle, described as a white, 2009 Honda Accord, Duckett explained. Hartzler was last seen in the Hemet area in her car, which has a California license plate of 6GIC627.

Stephanie Hartzler’s daughter, Nicole Hartzler, began to circulate information about her missing mother this morning. Facebook image

Despite their efforts, sheriff’s officials were not able to locate Biggs or Hartzler.

Word about Hartzler’s disappearance began to spread throughout the community this morning, after the missing woman’s daughter, Nicole Hartzler, posted a request for information about the missing woman on social media.

Throughout the day, people posted possible leads, well-wishes and prayers for Nicole and her mother.

Some people addressed Biggs directly, pleading for Hartzler’s quick and safe return to her family.

By the end of the evening, no new information or updates had been provided.

This is an active and ongoing investigation.

Anyone with information about Hartzler’s disappearance is encouraged to contact Investigator Janecka at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station at (951) 791-3400.

Callers can refer to incident file number D17123022 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.


Contact the writer: [email protected]

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.