Bend Police arrested a local man in connection with the disappearance of Sara Diana Gomez but are still asking for help locating the 24-year-old Bend woman.

At about 2 a.m. Thursday, Bryan Michael Penner, 31, of Bend was taken into custody on suspicion of kidnapping, theft and criminal mischief.

A police spokesman confirmed Gomez is the victim in the alleged kidnapping.

Penner was also arrested on suspicion of contempt of court for violating a restraining order Gomez had filed against him.

He was arraigned on that count Thursday in Deschutes County Circuit Court.

Penner has not yet been charged with crimes related to the disappearance of Gomez, according to Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel.

He is described as Gomez’s former boyfriend and a “person of interest” in her disappearance.

Before police arrested Penner, they searched his apartment in the 1800 block of NE Purcell Boulevard and say they found evidence linked to Gomez’s disappearance.

Penner’s criminal history includes a 2016 conviction for harassing a Prineville woman.

Gomez was reported missing by a concerned friend after she failed to return home for a few days.

“We are continuing to ask for the community’s help in locating Sara Gomez,” Bend Police wrote Thursday in a news release.

Gomez attended Mountain View High School in Bend, according to her Facebook page.

She’s been employed at the NE Third Street Albertsons for about four years, according to co-worker Mercedes Caldwell.

Caldwell said she also worked with Gomez at a previous job at Dairy Queen in south Bend.

She remembers Penner picking up Gomez from work at both jobs. “He never treated her right,” Caldwell said. “I always thought she could do much better.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com

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