Missing Incidents in Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease: Current Research and Search Strategies

About three hours after I [Todd L’Herrou] arrived on the scene and my trained searchers had entered the field, Team Charlie was on the radio, requesting that the other teams be sure that their radios could not be overheard. “Uh oh,” I thought, “the news won’t be good.” Sure enough, the next message was that a body had been found in a ditch that ran under a hedgerow. The body fit the description officers had obtained from the caregivers for a missing individual with Alzheimer’s disease more than 24 hours earlier. Only a quarter-mile from his nursing home, all evidence suggested that the individual had crawled in the ditch not long after he left the home. On another occasion, a search that lasted more than two weeks was initiated for a 79-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease. This consumed large amounts of manpower and logistical support. The man was eventually found deceased only one-half mile from his home.