A search that began Wednesday morning for missing Orange County woman Maryanne Rosenman ended successfully early Friday afternoon, as Ms. Rosenman was found by authorities.
Alicia Stemper, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Director of Public Information and Special Services, sent out a statement at 11:40 a.m. Friday morning that Ms. Rosenman had been found by authorities.
"Moments ago, the search for 75 year old Maryanne Rosenman concluded successfully," the statement reads. "Search crews found her in a drainage ditch in a heavily wooded area between her home and where she was last seen by a motorist. More details are being gathered. We will be holding a press conference at 12:30 at the New Hope Fire Station on Whitfield Road."
Ms. Rosenman had gone missing around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning when she wandered off from her home in Chapel Hill. Her husband woke up around 6 a.m. that morning and could not find his wife.
After searching the house and driving around the neighborhood, Mr. Rosenman called the Orange County Sheriff's Office around 7 a.m.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office sent out a Silver Alert later that day for Ms. Rosenman. The News of Orange contacted Stemper Thursday afternoon regarding Ms. Rosenman's disappearance.
"The Orange County Sheriff's Office is actively searching for Maryanne Rosenman," Stemper said on Thursday. "Ms. Rosenman is 75 and has dementia. She was last known to be at her home in the early morning hours of August 14, which is yesterday. Her husband noticed she was missing, he woke up at around 6 and couldn't find her."
Stemper told the News of Orange that extensive resources were being used to find Ms. Rosenman, who had gone missing once before.
Some of the parties that helped the Orange County Sheriff's Office included Brunswick County, State Highway Patrol, Alamance County and South Orange Rescue.
"We have been so blown away by the kindness of our law enforcement and our media partners," Stemper said Thursday.
There was a possible sighting of Ms. Rosenman Thursday by a motorist at Whitfield Road, near the New Hope Fire Department. The location served as the command post for the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
On Friday, the search efforts continued to track Ms. Rosenman. The Orange County Emergency Services-Emergency Management Division teamed up with the Orange County Sheriff's Office to locate Ms. Rosenman, according to a statement sent out by Stemper.
At the time of the release, Ms. Rosenman had not yet been found, but Kirby Saunders, Emergency Management Coordinator, noted the importance of searching for dementia patients in a radius close to where they had last been spotted.
“Seventy-five percent of dementia patients are found within 1.2 miles of their last known point and ninety-five percent are located within 5.1 miles,’ Saunders says in the statement. “We are therefore systematically searching the area with trained search and rescue personnel and multiple search dogs. The terrain is quite difficult; there are ravines with greater than 50 foot drops, there are thick briars, and this is copperheads eason. In addition, we are working in high heat and humidity. In spite of the difficulties, we have had search missions underway around the clock for more than 48 hours with only two brief suspensions during thunderstorms.”
According to the release sent out by Stemper Friday morning, more than 30 agencies assisted in the search efforts and 300 people engaged in 43 missions to find Ms. Rosenman.
Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood stated his gratitude for the assistance given in the attempt to locate Ms. Rosenman.
“The New Hope Volunteer Fire Department is providing outstanding hospitality, allowing us to use their facility as a command center and staging area. In addition, our law enforcement partners and search and rescue teams from across the state are responding to the call,” Blackwood states in the release. “The community response has been humbling. We’ve had many residents volunteer to help and we’ve had donations of food, water, and even cheesecake. Although we cannot utilize untrained searchers yet for the reasons Kirby highlighted, as the search expands into more open areas that may become a necessity.”
Julian Rosenman, Ms. Rosenman's husband, noted the fear felt by him and his sons while Ms. Rosenman was missing. The family members can feel at ease now, knowing that Ms. Rosenman was found safely Friday afternoon.