On June 12, 2018, a Silver Alert was issued for 71-year-old Ruth Rivera. Rivera went missing from Rosendale, Wisconsin and was found 170 miles away in Elgin, Illinois.
From the story on Fox6 Now:
ROSENDALE — A Silver Alert has been canceled for a Rosendale (Fond du Lac County) woman reported missing Tuesday, June 12.
Ruth Rivera was reported to have been last seen around 6 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities said Rivera was brought back to Rosendale by family from Elgin, Illinois, where she got into her vehicle and took off.
Again — she has been found safe.
On March 3, 2018 a Silver Alert was issued for 87-year-old John Graul. Graul went missing in New Palestine, Indiana and was found safe 100 miles away in Illinois.
From the story in the Greenfield Reporter:
A missing New Palestine resident was found safe in Illinois shortly after a statewide Silver Alert was declared, asking residents across the region for help finding the senior citizen.
Police say they’re still investigating why 87-year-old John Graul drove away from his home early Saturday.
A neighbor told police he’d seen lights on in Graul’s garage around 3 a.m. Saturday; he called 911 around 8:30 a.m. after finding the man’s garage door standing open, and his car missing from inside, according to emergency dispatch records.
The local sheriff’s deputies who responded to Graul’s home found tire tracks through the man’s front yard, making it look as though he’d driven off in the middle of the night.
They contacted Graul’s family and began searching the area, including checking local hospitals, records show. When Graul wasn’t located, a statewide silver alert was issued around 11:30 a.m.
Graul was found about 30 minutes later in Illinois. His family picked him up and brought him home, police said.
The Illinois state legislature is working on expanding its Silver Alert program to include missing persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
“You might have somebody that knows that they’re lost, but if you or I were to go and have a conversation,” says Eric Brown with RAMP. “They’re not going to be able to tell us where they live in the city.”
That’s why some lawmakers in Springfield want to change the missing persons act in Illinois to include people with those disabilities who are considered high risk.
“So, adding that language specifically gives the police, gives families the opportunity to have a resource to reach out to to put something out there to know someone’s missing,” Brown says.
Shawn Way is the CEO of Milestone, an organization that helps people with those disabilities lead independent lives. He says the organization provides housing, jobs and outing activities for people. Although way says it’s rare for his residents to wander off or get lost, it’s happened before.
“We just contact all hands on deck,” Way says. “Any and all staff at that home, any staff or supervisory staff of that home, contacted the police they came right out right away.”
Lawmakers say it’s happened twice recently in two different parts of the state, which is why lawmakers came up with a plan to add a new alert. They also say they are still working to define a developmental and intellectual disability in that bill. The Senate is set to vote on the measure in the next couple of weeks.
Read more about this story at WREX-TV.