Helicopters now aiding in search for missing Orange County woman

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The Highway Patrol’s helicopter is now being used in day-two of the search for a 75-year-old Orange County woman.

The sheriff’s office said Mary Anne Rosenman wandered away from home between 4 and 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

A map showing the search area for Rosenman.

Rosenman “is 5 foot 4 with blonde hair, believed to be wearing a blue green nightgown and gray tennis shoes.”

The post confirmed many agencies are involved in the search, including teams affiliated with the state search and rescue program and several K-9 trackers.

Crews from South Carolina are helping.

Rain and thunderstorms are forecast Thursday which has become a concern for search crews.

Kirby Saunders with the Orange County Emergency Services said no area is cleared until it’s been searched three times. 

He said they’re now expanding their search to a one mile radius to make sure crews can get in those deep wooded areas. 

There have been some challenges with this search. The terrain has been tough to navigate.

There are 50 to 80 feet drop off points in some areas. 

“Some areas are steep. Some areas are flat. The most we are seeing is a lot of thick vegetation,which is not uncommon for someone with a cognitive disability like dementia to get trapped in, “ said Saunders.

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said weather has been a challenge. Thunderstorms last night forced crews to call off their search. There’s also a threat of a storm Thursday. 

Despite the challenges, Blackwood is believes she will be found.

“We still feel very confident that we can found her assuming no health emergencies have taken place with her and assuming she has not fallen and hurt herself,” said Blackwood

And that’s what make this search effort urgent 

The Highway Patrol’s helicopter was called in ahead of the potential rain.

The sheriff’s office is asking, “those living within 5 miles of the Turkey Farm/Whitfield Rd area would please actively check yards, vehicles, outbuildings, etc. for any place Ms. Rosenman may have stopped to rest.”

CBS 17 will update this story.

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