DPS Ranger helicopter locates missing Graham County woman

A DPS Ranger helicopter like this one located the missing woman and transported her to the hospital. 

Elderly woman with Alzheimer’s wandered off from home in San Jose area

By Jon Johnson


SAN JOSE – A search by multiple law enforcement agencies Friday for a missing 73-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s ended positively when she was spotted and rescued by an Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter.

The woman was found stuck in a thorny tree and needed assistance. 

She was picked up by the helicopter and was flown to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where she was treated and released. According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, the woman had no visual injuries but was complaining of pain in her knees.

Deputies were initially dispatched at about 6:28 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, to the area of San Jose Road regarding the missing woman. The woman’s husband informed authorities that he had been working on a table and noticed his wife was missing. The man advised his wife had done this before and had even knocked on neighboring houses and attempted to gain entry. 

The woman was taken to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where she was treated and released. 

Deputies patrolled the area and multiple ATVs from friends and family searched the desert area but to no avail.

As the twilight began to turn to darkness, the Graham County Search and Rescue Team arrived at the scene. Shortly afterward, a DPS Ranger helicopter flew over the area and located the missing woman.