The New York Times recently did an article on missing seniors entitled “With Dementia, Stepping Outside for Fresh Air Can Mean Going Astray.” The article had praise for the Silver Alert program currently operating in New York City.
If there is a silver lining to the silver alert, it is this: they generally end well. They differ from other missing-persons cases in that the missing are not hiding from anyone, and are not being held. They drift toward parks, or to the subway. They are usually found in less than 24 hours, said Lt. Christopher Zimmerman, commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit. There have been more than 50 silver alerts since the program began in New York in 2011, but most cases are closed before reaching Lieutenant Zimmerman’s office.
On December 3, 2011, a Silver Alert was issued for Silver Alert issued for 74-year-old William and 83-year-old Juanita Grainger. The Graingers went missing in Monroe Township, New Jersey, and were later found safe 120 miles away in Eastport, New York.
From the news story in the Long Island Press:
Suffolk County Police found a missing New Jersey couple driving in Eastport Saturday.
Officer Kevin Wustenhoff, who is assigned to the Suffolk County Police Department’s SAFE-T (Selective Alcohol Fatality Enforcement Team) Section, pulled over a 2002 Buick that was driving erratically eastbound on Montauk Highway.
Wustenhoff said both the male driver and his female passenger were disoriented and the driver appeared to be having a medical situation. Rescue personnel were called and both driver and passenger were taken by ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions.
After conducting a Silver Alert search, the officer discovered that both the driver, William Grainger, 74, and his wife, Juanita Grainger, 83, had been issued Silver Alerts by the Monroe Township Police Department in Middlesex County of New Jersey.
The Monroe Township Police Department and the couple’s family have both been notified of the Grainger’s discovery.
On October 26, 2011 a Silver Alert was issued for 80-year-old Robert Stevens. Stevens went missing in Codlen, New York and was found safe 160 miles away in Franklin, Pennsylvania.
COLDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says 80-year-old Robert Stevens of Colden was found in Pennsylvania early Friday morning.
Sheriff’s Deputies say Franklin, Pennsylvania police found Stevens, who was the subject of a Silver Alert after he went missing Wednesday night. Police were making arrangements to return him to his family and say he appeared to be in good condition.