Out-of-state relatives appreciate help in finding missing local woman

17 years ago

To the editor:
You recently ran a story about a Wade woman who was found after being lost for some time in the Aroostook woods. I’m writing to give “the rest of the story” as well as a profound “thank you” to those who brought her safely home.    For anyone living with Alzheimer’s or who is a caregiver of a loved one suffering from this debilitating disease, you know the fears and heartaches that are inextricably bound to it.
As a loving but many times over-fatigued husband and caregiver, my father’s oft worried fear of letting his wife out of his sight or of falling into much needed sleep at the wrong time happened on Saturday, July 28th. When he awoke, Jenny was missing and a thunderstorm was brewing. She was nowhere to be found, even though numerous family members and wonderful, concerned neighbors scoured the road and into the woods.
Now, here’s the thank-you part … Too often our public safety and law enforcement officers receive the short end of gratitude that’s extended in only begrudged quantities even from the outset. Those that responded when my dad called deserve far more than that.
The first officer to arrive on the scene was Warden Alan Dudley, who was taking information less than a half hour from the original call. His demeanor was patient and thorough. Sgt. Tom Ward of the Maine Warden Service was there to coordinate the activities; Warden Preston Pomerleau assisted in this activity.
Probably the real heroes were Sgt. Kevin Schumacher and the bloodhound “Hunter” of the Presque Isle Police Department.
They were not only thorough and professional, but went beyond the “what was expected” to the “what was needed” by exhibiting compassion and understanding, knowing there was too much space and too little time to cover it all, but showing only utter resolve that they would find the one they were looking for.
To “Hunter,” the beautiful bloodhound with the amazing nose without which, the needle might still be lost in the haystack … a very special thank you for keeping your nose to the road, even through a thunder storm.
My prayer, as I’m reminded again that what we hold dear can be lost, is that we also remember that we are all here to help each other find our way home when we can’t get there on our own. Thanks again to everyone who helped bring about a successful conclusion to what could have been a tragedy for my family.

Heidi (Churchill) Sawyer
Water Lily, N.C.