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Missing elderly woman found safe

A search for a missing Lincoln County woman ended happily, but Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey said it serves as a reminder to keep an eye out for your older neighbors when the weather is bad.

“Check on them regularly,” he said. “This cold weather is hard on anybody, much less the elderly. They always need some help and that’s what neighbors are for.”

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said the 85-year-old woman was reported missing about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday by her son, who lives with her on Eula Trail. She’d been missing for about an hour, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies and first responders joined neighbors in the search for the woman, who they believed wandered away from her home. Constable Kelly Porter, who is also a Brookhaven firefighter, also brought his search dog to the wooded area.

The woman was located some time after 10 p.m. within a quarter mile from her home, Rushing said. She was found lying in some brush near the edge of the road by some of the searchers. She was wearing pajama bottoms and a T-shirt.

“The dog was almost to her when the other people found her,” Galey said.

The National Weather Service in Jackson expects temperatures to hover around the freezing mark next week in Lincoln County with some night temperatures slipping into the mid-20s.

Rushing echoed Galey’s words and encouraged relatives to check on elderly family members often, “especially with this weather we’re having now.”

The woman was taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center to be evaluated because of her exposure to the cold. She did not appear to be injured, Rushing said.