Cops: Rosie O'Donnell's missing daughter was 'of sound mind'
SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. (AP) -- Rosie O'Donnell's teenage daughter was "of sound mind and body" when she was found in New Jersey after she left home for a week, police in New York said Wednesday.
Sgt. Daniel Wilson said Chelsea O'Donnell was found by South Nyack police a day earlier in Barnegat, New Jersey, at the house of a male she was "recently acquainted with." He didn't describe the relationship further.
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Chelsea declined medical attention, and "she did not appear to be in any mental distress," he said.
She had left the family's home Aug. 11 with a therapy dog, and her mother's concern was intensified because she had not been taking needed medication. Chelsea suffers from mental illness, according to her mother's spokeswoman, Cindi Berger.
Photos of O'Donnell with her daughter, Chelsea:
Rosie O'Donnell lives in South Nyack, about 25 miles north of New York City, and police there had been involved in searching for Chelsea since Aug. 16. In the interim, Chelsea made contact with third parties, so police "didn't believe that there was any immediate danger," Wilson said. He didn't say who the parties were.
South Nyack police informed Barnegat police on Tuesday that they believed Chelsea was there. Police went to the residence and although the person answering the door initially did not want to reveal Chelsea's presence, police said they would not leave until she came out. She then appeared and willingly left with police.
Wilson said Rosie O'Donnell was cooperative and involved authorities because "several days had gone by and she wanted her daughter back." O'Donnell also issued a statement and tweeted Tuesday that her daughter was missing, appealing to the public for help.
"Chelsea, like millions of people, lives with mental illness. It has been a difficult road for Chelsea and her family and they just want her back safe," Berger had said.
It has been a rough stretch for the 53-year-old comedian, who received unwanted public attention two weeks ago when Donald Trump singled her out as being "disgusting" when asked in a Republican presidential debate to account for crude comments he had made about women.
O'Donnell had a major heart attack in 2012 and talked about her near-death experience in an HBO special this year. She rejoined the daytime talk show "The View" last year for a few months but then left, saying the routine was proving too stressful for her heart condition.
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