- Barbara Kasler, an 89-year-old woman with dementia, wandered away from her Shelby Township, Michigan, home on Wednesday at around 2:30 a.m.
- Police K-9 units and a helicopter were sent to the area to look for the woman.
- The night Kasler wandered off, temperatures hit a low of 24 degrees in Detroit.
- WWJ reporter Mike Campbell found the woman at 7:30 a.m. while he was in the area covering the story.
A reporter in Detroit who was working on a story about a missing elderly woman with dementia ended up locating the 89-year-old himself.
Barbara Kasler, who has dementia, was reported missing from her Shelby Township, Michigan, home around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday after wandering away from her home, police told local radio station WWJ.
Police issued a missing person alert, and officers deployed a helicopter and K-9 units as they searched for the 89-year-old woman.
WWJ reporter Mike Campbell was in the area working on the story at around 7:30 a.m. when he found the woman.
He saw Kasler wandering the street in pajamas and slippers, carrying her purse.
“I was following a helicopter that was out looking for her,” Campbell told WWJ. “I swear – I did a U-turn at an intersection and she wasn’t there when I passed the intersection. But when I finished the U-turn, she just appeared at the back of this car that I had seen before. I recognised it because it had a smashed in rear end, so I knew I had been in that area already this morning – and there she was. I got out and asked if she was Barbara and she said, ‘Yeah.'”
Barbara Kasler, 89, wandered fr home nr 23 and Van Dyke around 3 a.m. in just p.j.’s and slippers, with a purse. She was found about 7:30 a.m. cold but alive – thank God! Shelby Twp Public Safety took her to a hospital to be checked out. More @WWJ950 and https://t.co/NcwIrwPs9B. pic.twitter.com/8R0F32HUc3
— Mike Campbell (@reportermikec) January 9, 2019
Campbell invited the woman, who was safe but cold, into his car and turned the heat on to warm her up.
Temperatures in Detroit hit a low of 24 degrees on Wednesday. The high for the day was 35 degrees.
Campbell said Kasler was alert but confused, and told him that she went out walking and got lost.
Kasler was taken to hospital for observation but appeared to be in good health. When Campbell asked her what she had done all night, she laughed and said: “Actually, not much.”
This isn’t the first time Campbell has been in the right place at the right time – last Thursday he helped police catch a robbery suspect.
He made headlines last year after his news car was attacked by a pipe-wielding man on live air as he covered a fatal pedestrian crash.
- Read more:
- A 5-minute neck scan could spot dementia 10 years before symptoms appear, according to research
- 15 common misconceptions and surprising realities about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Fake 1950s-era towns are popping up across the US to help dementia patients – take a look
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