Update (10-15-19) – A missing woman with dementia has been found, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said. Geraldine Hendricks has been missing since Saturday. On October 15, she was found alive and was taken to the hospital to receive medical care. Police said Hendricks was found walking on a road about two miles from her home. They said she appeared to be in remarkably good condition considering the circumstances.
Original story: BUTTE FALLS, Ore. — “Somebody had to see something,” said Sgt. Shawn Richards, Jackson Co. Search & Rescue.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says the 80-year-old, who has dementia, vanished.
She was wearing only her pink pajamas.
“Her caregiver was the last one to have contact with her and left for a short time to work in the garden and came back, [then] she was gone,” he said.
Sgt. Richards says the first few days are critical in their search, especially when the person who goes missing suffers from Alzheimers or dementia.
“They may have a flashback to something that happened 30 years ago,” he said. “It influences our cognitive ability to make decisions and just, you know, walk in a direction. They just normally walk until they get stuck.”
Sgt. Richards says they don’t have any leads as to where Hendricks may have gone but don’t suspect foul play.
“If anybody saw her… maybe picked her up and gave her a ride, just reach out to us because that might make the difference… get us searching in the right area,” he said.
Sgt. Richards says multiple agencies have been out searching day and night along with around 100 volunteers; they have every resource at their disposal.
“We have aircraft, drones… trackers, just about anybody we can get our hands-on, we put [them] to work out here looking,” he said.
Although the clock may be ticking, Sgt. Richards say they’re not giving up hope.
“We’ve had people that are out 6 to 7 days that have survived and you know basically just been dehydrated… that’s what we’re hoping for here,” he said.
Hendricks is described as 5″2, 100 pounds with short, dark gray hair.
Search dogs did pick up her scent at the end of her driveway, but crews don’t know if that was a fresh scent or was a week-old one.
If you have any information about her whereabouts, you’re urged to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 541-776-7206.