A missing Beach Park woman who has dementia was found uninjured on Thursday by police in a wooded area, where she is believed to have been for over a day.
Kathleen A. Whitlow, 67, was last seen by a neighbor leaving her home in the 38200 block of North Cornell Road in Beach Park Wednesday afternoon, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said it is not uncommon for Whitlow, who has early stage dementia, to go on walks during the day. Family members told police they had not seen the woman since Wednesday and she does not have a working cellphone.
Lake County sheriff’s deputies and detectives began searching numerous places Whitlow could have been. Authorities were told that Whitlow sometimes ventures into the woods.
A sheriff’s detective began checking several wooded locations around Whitlow’s house, according to Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli.
“As he was checking a dense wooded area approximately 500 yards from Whitlow’s house, he could hear noises. He got closer to the noises and found Whitlow lying on the ground, where she’d likely been for over a day,” Covelli said.
Whitlow was confused but uninjured, and transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
“We take missing persons cases very seriously, especially when it involves an endangered person. I am very proud of my staff who didn’t give up and searched throughout the day,” Sheriff John Idleburg said.
“Detective John Hird did an incredible job finding the missing woman in a dense wooded area, where she could have suffered serious injury or death if she was not located,” he said.