Mystery follows rescue
Nora Loreta Hollinger met with police detectives a second time as investigators continued trying to pick apart the mystery of the 18-year-old Gridley woman's four-day disappearance - and who may have been responsible.
Gridley-Biggs officers on Monday interviewed Hollinger, known as Lori, who turned up Saturday afternoon inside a Wal-Mart in Willows, about 40 miles from home. A Gridley officer accompanied the woman back to her hometown, and detectives first interviewed her Saturday night.
Hollinger had not been seen since March 6, when she abruptly left her house on Indiana Street after arguing with the woman police had described as her foster mother. According to police, Hollinger then entered an outbound vehicle north of Gridley on Highway 99 and was seen later with a man at a nearby convenience store.
On Monday, Susan Lindsey of Gridley identified herself as the host mother of Hollinger. In a brief telephone interview, Lindsey declined to discuss the woman's disappearance.
Police released little new information on the route Hollinger took last week or the people who might have accompanied her. But police Lt. Brian Cook confirmed the driver who dropped the woman off in Willows is one of the two men sought for questioning and that a search is on for the vehicle, which he did not identify.
Earlier, Cook announced the planned arrest of one man later this week in connection with the disappearance, although a forced abduction is not suspected. The suspect and the two men sought for questioning were believed to be in the state but outside Butte County.
As police continued questioning Hollinger on Monday afternoon, Cook released new information that could raise questions about why she left Lindsey's home last week.
Lindsey, who has raised Hollinger for the last seven years, is not the woman's official foster mother but a friend of the birth mother, who lives in Prineville, Ore., according to Cook. Local authorities had alerted law enforcement in central Oregon in case Hollinger tried to contact her, but police said she did not leave California during her four days away from home.
Cook also questioned early reports of Hollinger's developmental disability, saying her mental capacity is probably higher than originally thought.
“Part of the reason for (Monday's) interview is to determine her mental state of mind,” he said. “We believe it is much better than originally reported by those whom she's living with.”
After resurfacing, Hollinger did not return to Lindsey's home. Police declined to say where she was staying, but KHSL-TV of Chico reported the woman is living in a county-run shelter.
The multi-agency task force investigating Hollinger's disappearance met Monday morning in Gridley and is slated to convene today. The team includes police forces from Gridley-Biggs, Chico and California State University, Chico, plus the Butte County Sheriff's Department and District Attorney's Office.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Howard Yune can be reached at 749-4708. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.