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A man connected to the disappearance of Rosie O’Donnell‘s 17-year-old daughter, Chelsea, last week has been arrested.
Twenty-five-year-old Steven Sheerer, who THR previously reported was charged in 2012 with possession of heroin and endangering the welfare of children, was arrested at 8:30 p.m. Friday and a search warrant was executed on his home (a computer and other digital equipment were seized), Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced Saturday.
“He was involved with a minor, and Rosie’s concern has been and always will be the health, safety and well-being of her daughter,” Rosie’s rep Cindi Berger told The Associated Press. “Rosie is profoundly appreciative for the work the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has done and the diligence of the local police.”
Chelsea was found unharmed in the attic of Sheerer’s home with her dog, Bear, on Tuesday when officer Nicholas Dapuzzo of the Barnegat P.D. was investigating homes on the man’s street. When Dapuzzo entered the home and found Chelsea, no evidence of drugs and nothing uncovered in the residence warranted criminal charges in this case, Lieutenant Keith Germain of the Barnegat Police Department in New Jersey told THR.
Sheerer was arrested for the charges of 3rd degree distribution of obscenity to a minor and 3rd degree endangering the welfare of a child; each charge carries a penalty of five years in New Jersey State Prison, TMZ first reported.
The arrest stemmed from a joint investigation by Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit and the Barnegat and Long Beach Police Departments. Detectives retrieved Chelsea’s phone Friday with Rosie’s consent. Evidence revealed inappropriate communications over the past weeks between Sheerer and Chelsea.
Chelsea was reported missing earlier this week after she had not been seen since leaving the family’s home north of New York City last Tuesday. Rosie announced on Twitter on Tuesday that “chelsea has been found and is safe in police custody – thank u all for the help and light.”
Sheerer is presently being held in Ocean County Jail on $40,000 cash bail and the court has mandated Nicole’s Law, stipulating he have no contact with Chelsea or her family.
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