Virginia Kidnap Hero Identified

By Lori Preuitt
|  Friday, Dec 17, 2010  |  Updated 1:38 PM PDT
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<a title=Theresa Shanley talks about finding Brittany Smith outside a Safeway in San Francisco last week." />

NBC Bay Area

Theresa Shanley talks about finding Brittany Smith outside a Safeway in San Francisco last week.

The 12-year-old Virginia girl who was kidnapped and found outside a San Francisco Safeway last week made her way back home Monday.

We are also learning the identity of the Bay Area woman who is the real hero in the case.

Theresa Shanley recognized the little girl after seeing her story on the Nancy Grace cable show. She said they were holding a cardboard sign near the shopping cart area at the time asking people for money and she thought she was the same person she had seen on the Nancy Grace show.

Shanley, pictured above with Virginia investigators, met with police over the weekend. She has not made a statement to the public yet, but her viewing habit sure paid off in this case.

The suspect, 32-year-old Jeffrey Scott Easley, is still in San Francisco. He faces kidnap charges.

The two hadn't been seen since Dec. 3, when they were captured on store surveillance video at a Walmart about five miles from Roanoke, Virginia.

The girl's mother was Easley's girlfriend. Tina Smith was found dead earlier this month.  Police have not said how she died. During a Saturday news conference, Roanoke County Police Chief Ray Lavinder Easley is considered a suspect in Smith's homicide.
 

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