To look into the eyes of Satara Stratton is to glimpse the anguish she's endured, and the fog of confusion from which she's trying to emerge.
When the young actor resurfaced last week, after going missing more than three months, she was suffering from physical abuse, psychological trauma, and heroin.
Now, the 24-year-old has been reunited with her family. She has begun detox and plans to seek further treatment. She acknowledged she is still far from healthy.
"It's really hard right now," she said. "I mean, I'm really sick."
The man she alleged was her abuser was arrested on suspicion of a narcotics violation Wednesday, according to LAPD.
Before all this, acting under the name Satara Silver, she appeared in numerous independent films, working with Troma Entertainment and Fire Fuel Productions. She had a starring role in the short film "Fairer Blood."
But she had been missing since last Thanksgiving weekend. She was out of touch with family and the subject of a police search, until she arrived last week at Cedar's Sinai Medical Center.
Clumps of hair had been pulled from her skull. She had marks from cigarette burns on her arms and shins. She had wounds from where fingernails had dug into her arms. And she was suffering from the effects of months of heroin she said was used to control her.
"The first thing I did was call my mom and dad, " Stratton Silver said. "Because I wanted out."
Her mother Sharon Stratton came from Tennessee to reunite with her daughter, who was discharged from the hospital Sunday evening.
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The family plans to admit the 24-year-old into a treatment facility far from California.
"I don't want this to happen to other girls, is basically why I'm doing this," Statton Silver said, explaining why she agreed to speak with NBC 4, her only news interview before leaving Los Angeles.
With her mother sitting at her side, Stratton Silver offered this account of what happened: she was 18 when she came to Hollywood six years ago to pursue an acting career.
She had already studied theater in New York, and said the first four years in LA went well. She moved into an apartment with roommates in Toluca Lake, and worked various jobs between filmwork.
But two years ago, she was afflicted with a severe illness. Then, after a stop at the bank, she was mugged.
"I lost everything," she said, explaining ruefully that all her money was in her backpack.
Stratton Silver was hurt so badly, she did not get out of the hospital for two weeks, and she lost her day job. She could not make her share of the rent, moved out, and took to "couch surfing" with people she had met.
"When you're homeless, you wind up with people who are kind of scummy," she said in retrospect.
At the time, she thought the man who let her stay in his home was a friend. So did her mother.
"One day he called and said, 'I'm going to shoot up your daughter with heroin.' That's when I knew he was not a friend," Stratton said.
Her daughter said at the beginning, she did not want the heroin. But she soon became addicted, and "that's how he kept me." She said he also abused her physically and sexually, and made threats.
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There were times Stratton Silver left. Last summer, she went to Brotman Memorial to detox. She said he picked her up and took her back, and again later after she went to a treatment facility in Pasadena.
"When somebody tortures and threatens, you go with them," Stratton Silver said.
"She has a lot of family," her mother said. "But we were so far away."
The mother recalled that Nov. 22, 2011, was the last time they spoke by phone. Her daughter said the man took her cellphone. That's when Stratton contacted police with her concern that her daughter was in a dangerous situation.
Los Angeles Police went public with the search for Stratton Silver, and shared the mother's suspicion that she was with Paul Constantinescu, 46, whom police identified as a registered sex offender on probation.
Law enforcement went to the Hollywood stamp business where Continescu worked and sometimes lived in the back.
"He carved out a hole in the wall and would stuff me in it," Stratton Silver said, adding that on one occasion, she heard law enforcement officers nearby.
She said later he took her to a series of motels.
"We were running out of money. Police were on us. I could not take it anymore," Stratton-Silver said.
At about the same time, LAPD Missing Persons detectives, working with Constantinescu's probation officer, made contact with him. Investigators emphasized to Constantinescu that he needed to distance himself from Stratton Silver, according to Det. Carmine Sasso.
Stratton Silver wanted to go to Cedar's, and on March 15, Constantinescu took her there.
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She is free of him now, but is only beginning the process of recovering from her ordeal and the heroin. She and her mother expressed displeasure with media accounts that described her as addicted to heroin. She said Constantinescu forced it on her. But she still must recover from it.
"It is tough. very tough," she said. "But I have family now. I guess that's all I can say."
Shortly after the interview with NBC 4, Stratton Silver, her mother and another family member left California by car.
"I won't be coming back 'til he's in jail," Stratton Silver said, referring to Constantinescu.
After finishing treatment, Stratton Silver intends to rebuild her reputation and resume her acting career, this time in New York.
Attempts to reach Constantinescu for comment have been unsuccessful.
A woman who answered the phone Wednesday at the Hollywood Rubber Stamp Company said Constantinescu has not been there for some time, and she does not know if or when he will return.
A message to Constantinescu's Facebook page went unanswered. Later, the reason became apparent.
Constantinescu was arrested for an alleged narcotics violation Wednesday evening, according to LAPD. He is being held without bail. The Strattons were notified directly.
Police did not disclose the circumstances of Constantinesu's arrest, nor whether it is specifically connected to Stratton Silver's ordeal, which remains under investigation.