An elderly woman who has dementia and was missing in Manhattan was just saved by a Good Samaritan who recognized her from a smartphone app.
The woman was out walking alone on Tuesday night wearing a long winter coat with her hood up, and Cindy Marmolejos could tell right away that she needed help.
“She was going back and forth pacing,” Cindy said. “She looked afraid, she was nervous, she looked cold. She looked lost, you could just tell.”
At the time, Cindy was waiting in her car while her husband ran into a store to pick up something. As she waited, Cindy perused her Citizen App on her phone.
“I was looking through my alerts and noticed there was a lady missing since the morning,” she said, adding that she saw that the 68-year-old woman with dementia had been missing for seven hours.
“That’s the lady. That’s the lady that’s been missing since the morning,” Cindy said, although she wasn’t completely sure.
“I was kinda confused because she had white sneakers on not black as the description said in the app,” she continued. That’s why she waited and started recording, saying into her phone, “I dunno if that’s her right there. She got white sneakers on.”
“I just wanted to make sure she was safe. Even if it wasn’t the lady, that lady looked like she needed help,” Cindy explained.
As she watched the woman start to walk away, Cindy knew she had to do something fast.
“Something about it just told me it was her and I went with my instinct,” she said. When her husband came out of the grocery store, she told him, “oh my god get the police.”
“We saw cops coming down so my husband flagged them down and told them to pull over,” Cindy recounted. It turned out that she had been right all along.
“She took off her hoodie and that’s when they noticed it was her and put her in the back of the police car,” Cindy said.
The woman lives eight blocks away in housing for adults with mental illnesses, and while staffers did not want her to be on camera, they said that she was safe and sound.
“She’s safe and that’s all that matters to me,” Cindy said, adding that her own grandma has dementia, which allowed her to recognize certain behaviors in the woman right away.
Find out more about this in the video below.