The inaugural Silver Alert issued by the Utah Department of Public Safety ended in the safe return of a missing senior after a journey of 1600 miles.
On June 11, 2019, a Silver Alert was issued for 80-year-old Robert Jones. Jones went missing in Orem, Utah and was found safe in Wilder, Idaho, after a 1600-mile journey through Idaho, Oregon and Nevada.
According to ABC 4 in Salt Lake City, Jones drove from Orem to Pendleton, Oregon, then Stanfield, Oregon, then retracing his route to Mountain Home, Idaho before heading south to Winnemucca, Nevada. Jones was finally located in Wilder, Idaho three hours after the Silver Alert was issued.
Oregon became the 33rd state to adopt a Silver Alert program for missing seniors, when Governor John Kitzhaber sigend Senate Bill 1577 into law.
From the article in the Salem Statesman-Journal:
Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill Tuesday that will require all state and municipal police departments and sheriffs’ offices to draft policies for older and vulnerable adults who wander away from their homes.
Kitzhaber put his signature on the bipartisan-supported Senate Bill 1577, which some have coined the Silver Alert bill, but supporters pointed out that they didn’t want to create confusion with the Amber Alert system.
Kathleen Cody, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Oregon Chapter, says the law will help protect the 60 percent of people with Alzheimer’s who wander. Nearly 80,000 Oregonians are living with the disease.