- Last Updated on 12:00 AM 11/19/10
- BY Staff
A search for a missing 89-year-old Alzheimer’s patient ended on a happy note early Wednesday morning as searchers located the man approximately one-half mile from his home, according to Halifax County Emergency Services Coordinator Kirby Saunders. Around 9:55 p.m. Tuesday, Patricia Womack of 1165 Oak Level Road notified 911 that her father, William Mitchell Womack, had wandered away from the residence and had not returned, Saunders said.
Halifax County Sheriff’s deputies and K-9 units were immediately dispatched to the scene along with emergency services personnel. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the elder Womack had been left alone in the residence around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Saunders said. When Patricia Womack returned around 9:45 p.m., she found him missing and made the report to authorities.
“The blustery winds and heavy rain made it difficult for the K-9 units to detect a scent trail,” said Saunders. “The Halifax County Emergency Service’s Search and Rescue Team initiated ground search and rescue operations around 11 p.m.,” Saunders added.
“Search personnel located Mr. Womack around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday nearly half a mile from his residence entangled in a fence,” the coordinator said. “After he was removed from
the remote area, Mr. Womack was transported for further evaluation by ambulance to Halifax Regional Hospital in stable condition.”
Saunders credits the dedication and training of all responders for the successful outcome of the search. He also thanked the Oak Level Volunteer Fire Department for lending their facility as a base of operations.
Saunders and other authorities highly encourage those who care for Alzheimer’s patients or those with similar conditions to consider enrollment in the “Project Lifesaver” program through the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.
“The program provides a tracking bracelet that is worn by the patient,” said Saunders. “The tracking device can be lifesaving in instances where the individual becomes lost or wanders away.”
For more information about the program, call the sheriff’s office at 434-476-3340 during normal business hours.