Orange County deputies ask homeowners to check their property for missing woman

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says Mary Anne Rosenman wandered from her home Wednesday morning. Deputies say she was last seen wearing a blue-green nightgown and gray tennis shoes.

Several agencies have joined in the search and are asking homeowners in a five-mile radius to check their property.

“It’s concerning when anyone’s missing that long,” said Orange County Sheriff, Charles Blackwood. “When you have someone that age and with dementia, that compounds our concern.”

Sheriff Blackwood says a silver alert is issued when someone who suffers from dementia, Alzheimer’s or some other type of cognitive impairment goes missing.

“It’s different than someone who just hasn’t come home from work or hasn’t been seen in a day or two,” said Blackwood. “A silver alert can be issued if someone suffers from law enforcement, dementia, or a cognitive defect that would place them in some type of peril or jeopardy that could lead them to be victimized by abuse, neglect or other danger caused by those impairments.”

Rosenman is believed to have been missing since around 3 a.m. Wednesday, the worry now is that she’s struck or trapped.

“The most thing we’re hearing is thick vegetation which is not uncommon for someone with a cognitive issue like dementia to get trapped into,” said Kirby Saunders, with Orange County emergency services. “They will go downhill until they can no longer go downhill.”

The sheriff says silver alerts are usually a very effective tool in getting the word out. At this point, he’s still very confident that they will find Rosenman, as long as she hasn’t had any medical emergencies.

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