Missing woman found in Highlands

Sheriff Chip Harding has about 50 volunteers in his search and rescue unit.

When an 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer's was reported missing Friday morning in Crozet, Albemarle police called in search and rescue volunteers, and the woman was found within a few hours, dirty, disoriented, but unharmed.

The woman had last been seen around 11pm at her residence on Amber Ridge Road in the Highlands subdivision and was reported missing September 24 around 8am.

"We got everyone in a line about 35 to 40 yards apart and went in the direction we thought she might have gone," says Sheriff Chip Harding. The woman was found sitting in a car on Mechums River Road in the same subdivision at 11:46am by Reserve Deputy Shane Rittenhouse.

"She was dirty and said she was in a cage and couldn't get out," says Harding. "She had been out all night. Our concern was the heat." And the neighbor whose car she had gotten into wouldn't have come out to find her until about 2pm, he adds.

Harding estimates that more than 24 officers and search-and-rescue volunteers combed Highlands for the woman, who was dehydrated and taken to the hospital for evaluation.

"We're going to see more of this," says Harding, "as the population ages.

1 comment

Once again, great job Sheriff Harding. Wish you were the Chief of the ACPD. You are a credit to your profession.