Elderly Woman with Dementia Who Went Missing Last Week Was Found Dead

An 83-year-old woman who went missing in Bedford County, Virginia last week was found dead on Wednesday morning in a creek near her home. 

Lina "Pat" Toot, 83, the missing Virginia woman who lived in her home on Toot Boulevard, Bedford County was found dead on Wednesday morning after days of futile search. 

Toot was reported missing last Thursday when her visiting family members did not find her in the house. In a report made by Toot's family members to the Sheriff's office, the visiting family members mentioned that upon their arrival, Toot's front door was open, but she was nowhere to be found. 

The police embarked on a search for Toot immediately after the missing report was filed by her visiting family members last Thursday. Sadly, the six-day hunt ended on a sad note when her remains were found by the search team. 

At a news conference on Wednesday, Mike Brown, the Bedford County Sheriff told reporters that Toot's body was found around 9:30 am at Stony Fork Creek, a Roanoke river tributary not far from Toot's home in Bedford.


He also said that Toot had dementia and suffered from confusion as a result. The sheriff's office added that Toot must have been wandering around the neighborhood the evening she went missing. This assumption was based on the half-mile distance between her Bedford home and Stony Fork Creek where her remains were found. 

Talking about the failure of the search to find Toot alive, Jack Jones, the County Fire Chief told reporters that the strong winds and heavy rains that were recurrent in Virginia in the past week hindered their hunt on all the six days they were at it. The weather was not favorable enough for the search, and rescue mission and as a result, the search team could not recover Toot in good time.

Judging by the location where Toot's body was recovered,  assumptions were made that the 83-year-old fell and died as a result of the fall.  However, the Sheriff's Captain, Michael Millers did not confirm any such assumption.  

Rounding up the press conference on Wednesday, Michael Millers told reporters that an autopsy would be conducted by the medical examiner's office in Roanoke to know the actual cause of Toot's death.  It can be challenging to take care of a parent with Dementia, especially stubborn parents. Here are a few tips:

  1. Integrate your parent in your daily activities
  2. Give them a reason to live
  3. Talk, talk, talk
  4. Strongly consider taking the patient to an old people's home, for constant supervision.
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