A source close to the situation tells ET that Steven Sheerer first met Chelsea online, and that he lives at home in Barnegat, New Jersey, with his mother.
Rosie drew attention to his criminal past by tweeting a link to a 2012 article
about Sheerer, who was 22 at the time, being charged with third-degree possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, third-degree possession of heroin, third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
ET can confirm Sheerer pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of two children, ages one and three, and was put on probation for possession of heroin. He served 53 days in jail in 2013.
Lt. Keith Germain of the Barnegat police department told ET that Sheerer was with Chelsea at the house when they located her in the Shore area of New Jersey on Tuesday. O'Donnell had previously revealed Tuesday morning that her 17-year-old daughter, who suffers from mental health issues, had been missing for a week.
A source close to the family confirmed to ET that the family did not suspect foul play nor fear that Chelsea was abducted at the time. Rather, they believed she ran away from home.
The former View co-host's rep issued a statement to ET after Chelsea was found, thanking police for their help in locating O’Donnell’s daughter: "Rosie wants to thank everyone for their help, especially the South Nyack, NY and Barneget Light, NJ police departments. Her daughter Chelsea O'Donnell has been located by the police and is safe in their custody."