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Police find missing woman in five minutes

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By Carol A. Clark

A 77-year-old local Alzheimer’s patient was returned to her husband after Los Alamos Police detectives found her unharmed Tuesday morning. The woman wandered away from her husband at about 10 a.m. in downtown Los Alamos.“The woman’s husband called and said he was inside a business near 15th and Central Avenue when he looked around and discovered his wife was missing,” said Det. Shari Mills. Mills is the police department’s coordinator for Project Lifesaver, a tracking program the detectives used to find the patient.LAPD detectives trained on Project Lifesaver several months ago. They learned not only search and rescue techniques and how to operate the electronic tracking equipment, but also the methods necessary to communicate with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders. Locating the individual is only part of the mission, they said. The person who is located can be disoriented, anxious and distrusting. The detectives are trained in how to approach the person, gaining trust and putting her or him at ease for the trip home.“It all fell together really nicely,” Mills said. “We had our equipment ready to go and we went out in our parking lot and with our antenna we got a signal right away.”Det.


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