If not for Mabel Pantaleon's name popping up on a police database at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the story could have been much more tragic -- the 31-year-old may have been missing for much longer.
Sgt. John Buthorn of the NYPD told Good Morning America that the actress was found late Thursday at J.F.K. International Airport.
Apparently, she was trying to board a plane when her name popped up on a police database.
At that point, authorities were notified.
"She was in [Port Authority's] custody on Thursday evening," Buthorn said Friday morning. "She was in good condition, and there was nothing suspicious."
Her brother told the New York Post that police took the actress, who has appeared on Dexter and the Discovery Channel's Mystery ER, to Jamaica Hospital in Queens.
Early Thursday, it was a much different story.
Pantaleon's mother, Sylvia, painted a picture of a woman struggling with bipolar disorder (formerly better-known as manic-depression).
The mom believed Mabel had gone off her meds prior to her disappearance on Sunday.
"She was staying with me," Pantaleon told the network. "She saw something on the Internet and got very upset, and she started saying a lot of weird things."
Among those weird things?
"She said, 'I'm leaving from here, all of you are terrorists, you're not my mother," Pantaleon's mother said. "I knew it wasn't her."
Pantaleon's mother believes her daughter's illness was made worse by her isolation.
But such loss of interest in participating in activities with others is just one of many symptoms associated with the mental illness, characterized by mood swings that range from the lowest of the low to euphoria.
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