August 1st marks the first anniversary of the Wisconsin Silver Alert program. In its first year of existence the Wisconsin Silver Alert, officials have issued 47 alerts in the state, and 8 safe retrievals were directly attributed to Silver Alert. Of the 47 Alerts issued, four seniors died and one remains missing.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette shared a moving story of one of the seniors located thanks to Silver Alert:
A relatively new Wisconsin law, and a lottery machine, helped save an 84-year-old man who had gone missing.
Patrick Looby was the subject of a Silver Alert — kind of an all-points bulletin issued when a senior citizen is reported missing — after he disappeared en route to a suburban Milwaukee diner earlier this year. When a confused Looby wandered into a store in a neighboring town, a store clerk who had seen the alert on a lottery machine notified authorities. Looby and his wife, Jean, were reunited.
“If it hadn’t been for the Silver Alert, I don’t know what we would have done,” Jean Looby told a Milwaukee television station.
On July 27, 2015, a Silver Alert was issued for 79-year-old Merittie Turner. Turner went missing in Flagstaff, Arizona and was found safe 500 miles away in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
From the news story on KFOR-TV:
Update: Police say Merittie Turner has been located. She was found in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
FLAGSTAFF, AZ. — Police are looking for 79-year-old Merittie Turner. Merittie was last seen in Flagstaff, Arizona on July 24, 2015. She was reported missing at 8 a.m. She is described as a white female; she was last seen wearing a light colored blouse with black pants.
Police say she is driving a gold 4-door Pontiac Bonneville with an Oklahoma license plate.
Merittie has a heart condition, police say.
She was reportedly on her way to Mannford, Oklahoma, but never arrived.
If you know of Merittie’s whereabouts or see someone who matches her description, please call police.
On July 14, 2015, a Silver Alert was issued for 83-year-old Hermes Miller. Miller went missing in Janesville, Wisconsin, and was later found safe in Redfield, South Dakota after a trip of more than 650 miles through Dubuque, Rockwell City, Iowa and Winfred, South Dakota.
From the news story at Madison.com:
An 83-year-old Janesville man has been found safe in South Dakota after being missing since Tuesday.
Hermes Miller was found in Redfield, South Dakota, Wednesday afternoon, the Rock County Sheriff’s Office said.
Miller was reported missing at 3 p.m. Tuesday, after his daughter went to his house and couldn’t find him or his minivan.
A Silver Alert was issued statewide at about 10:10 p.m. Tuesday by the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network. The alert is issued for missing persons believed to have dementia or some other cognitive impairment.
Sheriff Robert Spoden said the only way to track Miller’s whereabouts was through his credit card transactions, which ultimately led to South Dakota.
The transactions showed Miller was in South Wayne, Wisconsin on Tuesday afternoon, Dubuque on Tuesday night, Rockwell City, Iowa early Wednesday morning, and Winfred, South Dakota around noon on Wednesday.