Police said Brittany Mae Smith was safe at Child Protective Services. And the suspect, Jeffrey Scott Easley, was arrested and booked at the San Francisco County Jail on kidnapping charges.
The two were spotted at a Safeway store in the Richmond district. An unidentified shopper there recognized Easley from the TV show "Nancy Grace." She called the police and described the tattoos on Easley's calves to confirm it was him.
"For a person to be that observant, 3,000 miles away, is almost incredible," Roanoke County Police Chief Ray Lavinder said.
The girl's mother, Tina Smith, was found dead at her Roanoke, Virginia, home earlier this week. Police believe she was killed the same day her daughter went missing.
Police wouldn't say whether Easley is also a suspect in the mother's death. Easley, 32, was the mother's boyfriend. He met Tina online and had been living with her and Brittany since October.