Crawfordville, Fla. 2-6-13
Amanda Fisher's daughter has autism and went missing from the Crawfordville Wal-Mart on Monday. Thanks to a tracking bracelet, she was found behind the store in less than 30 minutes.
"They were able to find her pretty fast and that was pretty comforting to know that we're a part of that program," said Fisher.
The little beeping noise can make a huge impact on finding missing persons. To put it another way, it can be the difference between life or death.
A radio-based tracking system called Project Lifesaver helps locate missing individuals, especially those with special needs or Alzheimer's.
The system has bracelets. If someone wearing one of them were to go missing, the frequency would signal just from this one bracelet that can track where ever that person is.
In fact we hid a bracelet on the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office property to see how quickly it could be found. Captain Randall Taylor used the equipment and found the bracelet located about a quarter mile away in less than 10 minutes.
Fisher knows first-hand how invaluable the system is, it's helped find her daughter twice.
"We're very appreciative to have this now because it speeds-up finding her."
Leon and Franklin counties also use the same system to locate missing persons. The Wakulla County Senior Citizens Center has bracelets like this for those that qualify.
Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office Release
Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office investigators located a 26-year-old missing special needs female Monday, Feb. 4 using the Project Lifesaver search and rescue equipment, according to Sheriff Charlie Creel.
The special needs female was at Wal-Mart when she wandered away from a relative who was serving as her caregiver. The WCSO mobilized a search team after an effort to locate the female inside the store was unsuccessful.
The missing female was wearing a Project Lifesaver bracelet and WCSO investigators used the correlating tracking equipment. In less than 30 minutes after receiving the call, WCSO detectives and deputies arrived on the scene and located the missing female tangled up in weeds and brush on a fence line on the northern side of the structure.
“She was safe and sound, unharmed, just disoriented,” said Sheriff Creel. “Project Lifesaver is an outstanding program and has helped the sheriff’s office locate many missing citizens in a short period of time over the years.”
Investigating for the sheriff’s office was: Detective Matt Helms, Detective Ryan Muse, Sgt. Mike Helms, Lt. Andy Curles, Victim Advocates Laurie Langston and Paige Strickland and Captain Randall Taylor who operated the search equipment.
The Project Lifesaver bracelet emits a radio signal that is sent out to the search device and helps law enforcement locate missing citizens who are wearing the bracelet. Most of the residents who have been located by the Project Lifesaver equipment over the years have been older citizens, but it is effective for all ages.
For more information about the program, call the Wakulla County Senior Citizens Center at 926-7145 or WCSO Captain Randall Taylor at 745-7100.