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Updated: 11:11 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | Posted: 1:02 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Coweta woman missing for several days remains in critical condition



By Marcus K. Garner

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The 78-year-old Coweta County woman found Tuesday after being missing for several days remained in critical condition late Wednesday morning.

Eleanor Alexander was flown by helicopter to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition after being found by searchers just after noon Tuesday. A hospital spokeswoman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wedensday that her condition was unchanged.

Alexander, who suffers from dementia, left her home in rural Coweta County sometime between late Friday night and early Saturday morning, authorities said.

By daylight Saturday, she’d been reported missing to local emergency agencies.

Coweta County Sheriff’s deputies were soon on the ground – and at times in the air in helicopters – looking for Alexander.

“There are a lot of ponds and lakes in the area, and we worried she had fallen or stumbled in to one of them,” Coweta County Sheriff’s Lt. Col James Yarbrough said. “During the middle of the night, we were concerned about animals getting to her.”

On Tuesday afternoon, search teams — including more than 20 deputies on foot and dozens of volunteers on horseback and four-wheelers — found Alexander in a wooded area not far from her home off Providence Church Road.

“She was not alert, but she was breathing and covered with bug bites,” Yarbrough said. “She was in bed clothes and her body temperature was below 80 degrees (Fahrenheit), and she had walked into a barbed-wire fence.”

Alexander lives alone. But her son and daughter-in-law live next door, and her neighborhood, about eight miles west of Newnan, is peppered with relatives, authorities said.

Family members told authorities they last spoke with her around 9 p.m. Friday.

But there were reports of a senior woman in a pink top and pink and white striped pajama pants walking near Providence Church Road.

“Since she’s been at Atlanta Medical Center, reports are that her body temperature is up, she’s alert and doing a lot better,” Yarbrough said late Tuesday afternoon.

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