[NYDailyNews] Rosie O’Donnell helped give the man who hid her missing daughter a new view — from inside a county jail cell.
Four days after O’Donnell’s 17-year-old daughter was found in his Jersey Shore home, Steven Sheerer was behind bars Saturday on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and distribution of obscenity during a weekslong online friendship, officials said.
The Friday night bust at Sheerer’s Barnegat Township home came hours after O’Donnell gave authorities permission to examine her daughter Chelsea’s cell phone.
The cybersleuthing “was initiated by concerns from the victim’s mother,” said a spokesman for Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.
O’Donnell, through her spokeswoman, confirmed she was the concerned mother who contacted authorities. She had earlier launched a frantic social media search after Chelsea, who suffers with mental illness, disappeared from her family’s Nyack home on Aug. 11.
Sheeran “was involved with a minor, and Rosie’s concern has been and always will be the health, safety and well-being of her daughter,” said spokeswoman Cindi Berger.
“Rosie is profoundly appreciative for the work the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has done and the diligence of the local police.”
The celebrity mom had issued a frantic Twitter appeal for help that only ended after Chelsea (below, right) voluntarily went to a local police station about 120 miles from her own home.
Investigators found “evidence of inappropriate communications over the last several weeks” between the teen and the suspect, according to the Ocean County prosecutor’s office. Officials believe the pair might have met online. Sheerer (below, left) initially barred cops looking for the missing girl from entering his house, and officials later said the pair apparently spent several days together before she was found.
Law enforcement agents with a search warrant also seized Sheerer’s computer and other digital data storage devices after taking him into custody.
Sheerer was jailed on $40,000 cash bail, and an Ocean County Superior Court judge barred him from further contact with Chelsea O’Donnell or any of her family members.
He faces up to five years in prison on each count if convicted. His arraignment on the charges was expected next week.
Sheerer was arrested in 2012 when he was found inside a car with a woman, her young kids and heroin paraphernalia.
Marijuana and heroin were discovered in a search of his house. Sheerer pleaded guilty to drug charges in separate cases in 2012 and 2013.