Watch above: A 70-year-old woman, who suffered from dementia, has been found dead after walking away from her Parkland County home late Thursday night. Tom Vernon reports.
EDMONTON — Seventy-year-old Jody Lynn Brown, who suffered from dementia, has been found dead after wandering away from her Parkland County home late Thursday night.
“Everybody was at home…watching a movie, my niece, my nephew. And [my stepfather] and mom were just watching something on the computer,” her daughter Jamie Brown said.
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The 70-year-old reportedly she got up to go to the bathroom at one point, or so her husband thought. When he went to check on her five minutes later, she was gone.
“She hates the cold and the dark…She wouldn’t have gone outside unless she was looking for him [her husband]. Because she didn’t think that was him in the house,” Jamie explained tearfully.
Hail and heavy rain hit the area soon after her mother left, and temperatures dropped significantly. Her family says the senior was not dressed for the temperatures.
Family members, friends and search and rescue members tirelessly scoured the Wabamun region west of Edmonton for the 70-year-old. Police dogs, Edmonton Police’s Air 1, and the RCMP helicopter were involved in the search efforts.
“I think we went everywhere, like there was probably eight to 10 vehicles with RCMP driving, looking into the ditches and roads and stuff,” said Brown.
It was the helicopter that found her mother’s body in a heavily wooded area Friday afternoon, less than half a mile from her home.
RCMP believe she may have died from hypothermia, but won’t know for sure until an autopsy is performed.
Cst. Kathleen Fossen says missing persons cases involving those living with dementia are, sadly, quite common.
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“They can have very good days, very good moments where I guess in a sense you drop your guard a little bit and things are going okay. And then the next day, five minutes goes by and they’re out the door and you just have no idea where they’ve gone. And in this case, that’s exactly what happened.”
“It was less than five minutes that she was out of sight from her friends and family and her home. And in that amount of time in the dark, with rain…and the cold temperatures, it can just happen very fast.”