SDMRT 2018-16 Mira Mesa

SDMRT Operations Report 2018-16

Full Callout Mira Mesa, CA

Martha Carrington

17 November 2018

First Operational Period SDMRT Responders: Nick McGuinness, Brian White, Alicia Trigeiro, Erin Rist, Chris Hill, Ming Chaung, Tim Stempel; ITC: Richard Yocum

Second Operational Period SDMRT Responders: Nick McGuinness, Frank Ortega, Pete Jenkins, Steve Herman, T.J. Tischer; ITC: Richard Yocum

Other responding organizations: SDSDSAR (approx. 40, at least 3 dog teams), SD County Sheriff personnel, ASTREA, ABLE utilizing FLIR.

Short Summary:

  • Type of callout: Full
  • In-County San Diego
  • Type of search: Search for elderly person with dementia and schizophrenia
  • Environment: Urban, and suburban
  • Location:
    • LKP at place of residence, 9800 Mira Lee Way, Apt 18205, San Diego, CA
    • CP initially at 9800 Mira Lee Way, San Diego in her apartment complex and then moved to 11298 Westview Parkway, San Diego in public park parking lot
    • Subject not found at time of call-out suspension
  • Operational periods:
    • First Operational Period: Callout 1844 11/17/2018 – 0200 11/18/2018
    • Second Operational Period: 0700 – call-out suspension 1529 11/18/2018
  • Information about the subject:
    • Number/names of subjects: 1 subject: Martha Carrington
    • Age/Gender: 84-year-old female
    • Level of fitness and preparedness: Fitness level poor, gets tired very easily (described as being tired after shopping at one store, having difficulty with stairs) and uses a walker (which was left behind), not prepared for long duration outside
    • Mental status: Early stages of Alzheimer’s but responds to her name, schizophrenia and would be coming off her medication Saturday night
    • Injuries, if applicable: No prior injuries reported
    • How were they found: Subject not located at time of call-out suspension
  • Any rescuers injured: None known
  • Aircraft used: ASTREA helicopter searching

Descriptive Report

Missing subject is an 84-year-old woman of African American ethnicity, 5’8” 175 lbs, grey hair, initially thought to be wearing blue pajamas but may have changed. She has early stage Alzheimer’s but responds to her name. She also has schizophrenia and would be anxious after her medications wore off. She has high blood pressure and reportedly gets tired very easily. A walker which she normally uses was still at the apartment likely limiting her mobility and she reportedly has trouble with stairs.

Martha has gone missing in the past. She and her family recently moved to California from Florida and she would be unfamiliar with the area. She smokes but is not allowed in the apartment and could approach someone for a cigarette. At approx. 0200 hours one of the family members heard something in the apartment and found Martha gone. She reportedly left home with no money or credit card and no phone. They reported the subject missing to SDPD who interviewed the family and searched during the day.

The lack of mobility focused the search on the apartment complex and immediate surroundings. Searchers went door to door beginning in her building floor and then covering all floors of both North and South parts of the complex. Many residents reported seeing the missing person report on the news. Searchers also checked the nearby park and green spaces ASTREA searched overhead as well including a wider area. Dog teams searched the buildings and green spaces as well. Units without residents home that were found unlocked were called in to the CP as potential places that the subject could have entered in confusion for deputies to search. The first operational period was ended a few hours after midnight on the 18th.

After no leads during the first operational period, the second period the morning of the 18th began with resumed door to door searching, broad floor and stairwell checks, and nearby green spaces. Dog teams were sent out again to similar areas, but no clues were found. The apartment management was contacted to give access to unrented units which were searched as well. After significant time spent searching the complex and surroundings without progress, the search was suspended at 1529 hours.

Photo of Martha Carrington from Sheriff’s Missing Person Alert

Map of Search Area

Lessons learned/ suggestions for future operations:

Searching vacant apartments in same complex can be very beneficial for those with Alzheimer’s since they can wander in and those vacant units are often left unlocked.