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Laura McCulloch – Inside the life of ‘missing’ Aussie actress in LA who sparked a manhunt

She’s the little known Australian actress who found herself at the centre of a baffling missing person’s case last week – only to be found in a Los Angeles jail after ‘throwing a drink on a two-year-old child and biting a cop’ during a ‘drunken’ online date’.

So, just who is Laura McCulloch? 

Born in Melbourne, Laura, 37, has been working in the entertainment industry since the early 2000s. 

Who is Laura McCulloch? Inside the life of ‘missing’ Aussie actress in LA who sparked a manhunt following online date – only to be found in jail 

She studied musical theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts before relocating to London where she began singing in cabaret shows and cruise ship performances. 

While in London she starred in stage musicals including Rent and A Class Act. 

Laura relocated to the US in 2016, initially living in Oregon, Portland, before moving to Los Angeles in 2021, where she worked as an actor, singer, voice-over artist, writer and producer. 

Born in Melbourne, the Laura, 37, has been working in the entertainment industry since the early 2000s

Born in Melbourne, the Laura, 37, has been working in the entertainment industry since the early 2000s 

According to her agent, Laura is now a green card holder. 

Laura boasts an extensive CV of musical theatre credits. From 2007 to 2010 she starred in the Australasian tour of Cats, playing a range of different roles including the main character Grizabella. 

Over in London she starred in stage musicals including Rent and A Class Act.

Laura boasts an extensive CV of musical theatre roles, From 2007 to 2010 she starred in the Australasian tour of Cats, playing a range of different roles including the main character Grizabella. She is pictured performing in A Tale of Two Cities 2021

Laura boasts an extensive CV of musical theatre roles, From 2007 to 2010 she starred in the Australasian tour of Cats, playing a range of different roles including the main character Grizabella. She is pictured performing in A Tale of Two Cities 2021 

She also appeared in several musicals while living in Oregon, including Mama Mia and The Music Man. 

Laura even received the Best Supporting Actor award for her performance in Nunsense the musical at the Portland Area Musical Theatre Awards in 2019. 

In March 2021, she played Madame Le Farge in an American stage version of A Tale of Two Cities at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. 

Laura also has several screen acting credits, including starring in a 2022 indie short film called 'Covid Support Group' directed by an American filmmaker Abigail Bogle. She is pictured in the film

Laura also has several screen acting credits, including starring in a 2022 indie short film called ‘Covid Support Group’ directed by an American filmmaker Abigail Bogle. She is pictured in the film 

Laura also has several screen acting credits, including starring in a 2022 indie short film called ‘Covid Support Group’ directed by an American filmmaker Abigail Bogle.

She appeared in 2010 Australian short film called The Black Sheep, which saw her win the Best Supporting Actor in a Short Film award at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2009 she played a supporting role in the film version of classic ballet The Nutcracker in 2009. 

However, it was this week when Laura would become a household name - and it had nothing to do with her showbiz credits

However, it was this week when Laura would become a household name – and it had nothing to do with her showbiz credits

However, it was this week when Laura would become a household name – and it had nothing to do with her showbiz credits. 

Laura, who was arrested after vanishing when she went on a date in Los Angeles and was released from jail on 16th August after being charged with a misdemeanor.

She had told her family she was meeting up with a man from a dating app, and even sent them a picture of her outfit before leaving on August 12.

Laura was arrested on Friday after allegedly throwing a drink at another restaurant patron and their child. She has since been released after being arraigned on charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest

Laura was arrested on Friday after allegedly throwing a drink at another restaurant patron and their child. She has since been released after being arraigned on charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest

But after she didn’t show up to work, yoga class and her other regular commitments, her family raised the alarm and sparked an online manhunt for the actress.

They said that she was last seen at trendy Japanese chain-restaurant Gyu-Kaku in Los Angeles and was due to meet someone she contacted on ‘Bumble or Tinder’.

She was arrested on Friday, shortly before her family raised the alarm that she had apparently vanished.

McCulloch was pictured in her mugshot wearing the same top that she wore to her date, which her sister, Clare, shared on social media. She later confirmed on social media that her sister had been freed

McCulloch was pictured in her mugshot wearing the same top that she wore to her date, which her sister, Clare, shared on social media. She later confirmed on social media that her sister had been freed

McCulloch was released from custody on August 16, four days after she was reported missing by her family.

Santa Monica police said that she threw a drink at a child and restaurant patron before ‘charging’ at officers and ‘biting one’.

According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department she was released on her own recognisance and charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest.

Laura was last seen dining on a Tinder or Bumble date at Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, located at 231 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA

Laura was last seen dining on a Tinder or Bumble date at Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, located at 231 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA 

McCulloch will have to appear at Los Angeles Superior Court to face the charges next month.

Officers were called to reports of McCulloch throwing a drink at a fellow restaurant goer and their two-year-old child.

McCulloch was reportedly showing ‘obvious signs of intoxication’ while shouting at the officers and ‘charging’ at them.

Her friends and family started their own missing person search, claiming that the LAPD did not yet consider her a missing person case when contacted

Her friends and family started their own missing person search, claiming that the LAPD did not yet consider her a missing person case when contacted

Her family, who launched a missing persons appeal on social media, were unaware that she had been arrested when contacted by DailyMail.com.

Clare McCulloch, her sister, posted a picture of the pair embracing online with the caption: ‘She is safe. She is free. She’s is ok. Thank you to everyone who helped us find my precious sister.’

McCulloch was pictured in her mugshot wearing the same top that she wore to her date, which her sister shared on social media.

In a statement the Santa Monica Police Department said: ‘On Friday, August 12, 2022 at approximately 8:30pm Santa Monica Police Department Officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Arizona for what was reported as a battery.

Laura is seen leaving jail on Wednesday, released after four days

Laura is seen leaving jail on Wednesday, released after four days

‘According to the reporting party, a female, later identified as Laura McCulloch, threw a drink at a restaurant patron and their 2-year-old child.

‘Upon arrival, officers contacted Ms. McCulloch who showed obvious signs of intoxication.

‘While conducting the investigation, McCulloch charged the at the officers while yelling expletives.

Frustrated at the lack of help from LA investigators the family has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for a private detective. McCulloch's sister and friends shared the last photo taken before she disappeared

Frustrated at the lack of help from LA investigators the family has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for a private detective. McCulloch’s sister and friends shared the last photo taken before she disappeared

‘Despite efforts to calm her, McCulloch continued to display aggressive behaviors. During efforts to detain her, she became physically combative, kicked at officers and bit one officer on the shoulder.

‘Laura McCulloch, 37 years old from Australia, was arrested, transported to the Santa Monica Jail and booked for public intoxication and resisting arrest.’

The actress is understood to be at Los Angeles County Superior Court, and will be dealt with accordingly.

Her cousin Merrie McCulloch told DailyMail.com: ‘Yes, I can confirm she’s in safe hands and have also been asked to please help update media with the information that she’s been located, and thank you for your support.

‘It’s all very slim details at the moment but until we ascertain Laura’s current state and what her wishes are going forward in terms of media coverage we are just scaling back for now and focusing on her well-being.’

Her sister Clare, left,  launched a missing persons appeal on social media after McCulloch failed to contact them after her date

Her sister Clare, left,  launched a missing persons appeal on social media after McCulloch failed to contact them after her date

Her sister Clare posted on Instagram saying: ‘She has been found safe and well.

‘The family want to thank everyone for your help and support in what has been a traumatic time.’

Her friends and family started their own missing person search, claiming that the LAPD did not yet consider her a missing person case.

The family has also claimed that the Santa Monica restaurant – Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ – where she had arranged to meet her date, had refused to release any security footage without a police order.

A staff member at the restaurant claims that the incident took place outside of the property, and no one inside contacted the police.

Her family, who launched a missing persons appeal on social media, were unaware that she had been arrested when contacted by DailyMail.com

Her family, who launched a missing persons appeal on social media, were unaware that she had been arrested when contacted by DailyMail.com 

Frustrated at the lack of help from LA investigators the family has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for a private detective – which has currently raised $1,000 AUD.

The page updated those looking for the actress, saying she had been found, adding: ‘According to multiple sources in the US, Laura has been successfully located!

‘At this current stage we are unable to confirm what state she is in, and if any further financial support is needed, but I will do my best to provide an update as soon as it is available.

‘In the mean time, I can confirm that it was only through the efforts of her amazing friends and family that she was successfully located and I’m sure they would want to pass on their heartfelt appreciation for your contributions and incredible support so far.’

The family has claimed the Santa Monica restaurant - Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ - where she had arranged to meet her date, had refused to release any security footage without a police order

 The family has claimed the Santa Monica restaurant – Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ – where she had arranged to meet her date, had refused to release any security footage without a police order

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk