COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - The family of a Coweta County woman who was missing for three days is relieved that she was found alive.
Paramedics quickly rushed 78-year-old Eleanor Alexander to a waiting helicopter after a volunteer and her search dog found her in the woods. The family said firefighters told them she had been found about 11 a.m. about a mile away from the Newnan home she left early Saturday morning.
Alexander was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition.
Teams of people have been searching for Alexander, who suffers from dementia, since she disappeared. Channel 2's Rachel Stockman has been covering the search since Saturday and she was there when family and friends got the good news.
With one phone call, the word spread quickly.
"We know she's alive and they found her. It's awesome. I knew we were going to find her, but I didn't know it was going to be like this," said granddaughter Becky Alexander.
The family was grateful that volunteer Tracy Sargent, of Cedartown, tracked down their loved one.
Sargent saw Alexander trying to get over a barbwire fence.
"She tripped and she fell on the ground, so she was lying on the ground," said Sargent.
Neighbors called Sargent and her search dog, Cinco, heroes.
"We went in a southeasterly direction which is pretty
typical of Alzheimers subjects. (Cinco) was throwing his head up, which is pretty typical of his body language to tell his he's picking up a scent," Sargent said.
Sargent has been volunteering since Alexander's disappearance. She said she commended Alexander for being so strong.
said, 'You are one tough lady and I'm so proud of you' and 'Just hang in there. We have some help for you,'" Sargent said.
Family members hugged in disbelief. Becky Alexander fought back tears as she embraced her father, relieved that the search came to a good ending.
Doctors expect Alexander to stay in the hospital for a few days.