Olympia Fields police, dog find missing elderly woman
By Steve Metsch firstname.lastname@example.org February 5, 2013 10:36PM
Updated: March 7, 2013 6:44AM
Three uniformed officers with help from Olympia Fields police dog Lars came to the rescue of an elderly woman early Tuesday and prevented what could have had a tragic ending.
The woman, 69, suffers from dementia and had wandered away from her family’s home in the 2600 block of 207th Street about 12:10 a.m., Police Chief John Krull said.
The family first thought their home was being broken into because she set off a burglar alarm as she left, he said.
Police officers Mike Smith and Dan Kickert reported to the scene and learned the woman had left the house.
They then enlisted the help of K-9 officer Scott Metzger and his partner, Lars, Krull said.
The officers were concerned for her safety because she has dementia and the temperature had dipped to the low 20s, Krull said.
Lars “was outstanding,” Krull said. The dog is trained in tracking and was able to find the woman about a half-mile away.
She was found about 12:30 a.m. in an undeveloped area off the roadway.
Lars was given an item of hers and was able to track her scent, Krull said.
“She got pretty far. She was found wearing lightweight pajamas, no coat and only socks on her feet,” he said.
Paramedics from the Chicago Heights Fire Department were called out and examined the woman, Krull said.
“She was found to be OK and was taken to her residence,” Krull said. “This lady is incredibly lucky.”
Krull said he is “incredibly proud of the coordinated response” of the officers.