UPDATE, 7:50 p.m. Monday: Elias Ortiz has been found, and is safe, his sister Katherine Ortiz told SCVNews.
“At this time we don’t want to give any further details, but we’re just glad he’s okay and we can bring him back home,” she said.
Monday morning’s original post follows:
Family members have taken to social media in an effort to find Elias Ortiz, a 16-year-old Newhall resident, who has been missing since Saturday night.
In a Facebook post, Emmy Christine Macias, an older sister, said her brother was last seen Saturday night at West Ranch High School’s homecoming.
“One of his friends dropped him off at home after the homecoming party at West Ranch around midnight, and around 1 a.m. he sent a goodnight message to his homecoming date,” said another older sister, Katherine Ortiz.
At 4:27 a.m., Elias’s father Danny Ortiz received notification of an ATM withdrawal made at a Shell station $44.34 in Castaic, Katherine said.
At 6 a.m., Elias’s date received a Snapchat message that was a solid black image. She tried to reach him but got no response.
Sometime during the morning, there was another ATM withdrawal made from Kettleman, California.
“He called my dad at noon the next day crying saying he was in Sacramento CA and didn’t know how he got there,” Macias wrote.
“He said the car ran out of gas and that he had blacked out, and didn’t know where he was,” said Katherine Ortiz. “Bank records show he also checked his bank account balances at an ATM at a Sacramento-area airport and at a Greyhound bus station, also in Sacramento.
“We haven’t heard from him at all, and we think his phone is turned off, but we can tell he’s using data on his phone,” she said.
She added her father had contacted law enforcement authorities in Sacramento, who are also now searching for Elias.
“This is very out of his character. We don’t know if he is alone or with a stranger. We do know that he is taking A LOT of money [out] of his bank account,” Macias wrote.
The family filed a missing person report with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Sunday.
Elias Ortiz is Hispanic, with brown hair and eyes.
In a note to SCVNews.com Monday, Macias said her brother does not have a driver’s license, but was traveling in his father’s gray 1999 Honda Accord four-door sedan, California license plate number 6RSZ798.
“Please help our family bring him home safely … spread the word share on social media!” Macias wrote, using the hashtag string #eliascomehome #bringourboyhome #santaclarita #sacramentoca #weloveyouboy.