Missing Coweta County woman found in critical condition - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Missing Coweta County woman found in critical condition

Tracy Sargent and Cinco Tracy Sargent and Cinco

An elderly woman who had been missing is recovering in the hospital after a four-day ordeal in the woods.

Eleanor Alexander, last seen on Providence Church Road, disappeared last Friday.

Police, firefighters and volunteers combed the woods nearby to no avail.

Then late Tuesday morning a volunteer K-9 unit spotted Alexander in the woods behind a farm, bruised and bitten by insects but otherwise in surprisingly good condition. Eleanor Alexander's daughter-in-law, Becky Alexander, thanked search teams for finding her mother-in-law.

"They did a very thorough and extensive search that came to an inconclusive end on Saturday afternoon and that wouldn't have continued to find her if it hadn't been for y'all coming out and helping to continue that search and find her," Becky Alexander said.

Tracy Sargent, one of the volunteers who helped find Eleanor Alexander with the help of her search dog Cinco, said the elderly woman was exhausted but conscious.

"Our emotions were, 'We finally found her. Thank goodness and thank goodness she's alive,'" Sargent said.

Cinco was the one who spotted this missing woman in the brush.

A helicopter air lifted the elderly woman to Atlanta Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition.

Her family said, however, her prognosis is good 

"She's strong, she's really strong. To be a 78-year-old in the woods for three and a half days, I'd say she's doing great," Becky Alexander said.

Police called off the search just after 9 p.m. Monday, but volunteers refused to give up.

Gail Higgins brought her 2-year-old German shepherd Annie to assist in the search, and after her dog smelled the scent on the shoes of Eleanor Alexander, the two searched through the thick brush near Providence Church Road in Coweta County on Monday.

"It's been three days. This lady's had no food, no water, no nothing," Higgins said.

Higgins decided to volunteer her time searching for Eleanor Alexander after hearing about it on Facebook.

"If I have to go in the woods, then I'll put snake boots on," Higgins said.

"We really feel strongly that she's close and that she's either hiding because it's hot or because it's been three days she could be down," Becky Alexander said.

Eleanor Alexander was considered to be in good physical condition when she walked away from her home, but her family says she does suffer from dementia.

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