Arlene Mossa Corona, a 20-year-old college student living in San Diego, Calif., spent the better part of last week on a hunger strike, dressed in a skimpy bikini on a street corner, in a desperate effort to find her lost Chihuahua, Chispita.
Though Corona still hasn't found her dog, she may have found herself a stalker.
Chispita disappeared from Corona's La Jolla apartment complex over a week ago. After a thorough search of the neighborhood and local animal shelters and a visit to a pet psychic turned up nothing, Corono perched herself at a busy intersection, wearing nothing but a bikini and high heels.
The petite, fit student thought the stunt would attract the attention of passerby, and that one of them might recognize Chipita from the large poster Corona held above her head. The sign included the message, America is bringing home our troops for the holidays La Jolla/Please help me bring my dog home too! Another sign at Corona's feet promised that she would not eat until Chispita came home.
Corona skipped her own family's Thanksgiving celebration to continue her campaign.
She means everything to me, Corona told NBC San Diego of her dog. She's all I have. She's like the only family I have over here.
Though Chispita still hasn't turned up, the controversial campaign has come to a halt after attracting the wrong kind of attention.
A man who identified himself as Merl contacted the desperate dog owner on Friday, claiming that his daughter had taken the Chihuahua. Corona was temporarily hopeful until she realized the man was seeking sexual favors: He emailed her a picture of a dog he said was Chispita, and then emailed her a photo of his genitals.
I was like oh my God this is so scary, I was like shaking, and I was like maybe he really does have my dog, or maybe he's just a creep, Corona told NBC San Diego.
But Corona later concluded the dog in the photo was not hers.
Later Friday, Corona received another lead, which also turned out to be false -- and in all likelihood generated from the same person. Corona was on her way to meet someone who sent her a text message claiming a neighbor had her dog, when she found that the phone number provided went to the same voicemail as Merl.
This is turning into something that I didn't think it would, a tearful Corona told NBC San Diego.
View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.