Authorities in Warsaw, Mo., announced Sunday that they had found and tentatively identified the body of a missing Buckner woman who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
In a statement, Benton County Sheriff Rick Fajen said deputies and members of a state rescue team found the remains of Hellen Cook, 72, near a pond where they earlier had recovered items that belonged to her, such as shoes, a scarf and a pair of boots.
Divers recently searched the pond, and crews dragged it, but found nothing. Earlier this month crews used diesel pumps to drain the pond, which was 14 feet deep. Authorities had planned to drain the pond anyway to repair a leaking dam.
Cook walked away from her home on July 13. Family members said she had problems communicating, and they worried that she wasn’t taking her medications. They said it was unlikely that she would have wandered into the pond by accident because she was afraid of the water and did not swim well.
Fajen cautioned that while Cook’s family had positively identified the personal items found near the pond, the identification of the remains will remain pending until the results of a DNA comparison are known.