SISTERSVILLE, W. Va. (WKBN) – An elderly woman who was missing from West Middlesex was found safe early Wednesday morning, about 150 miles away in Sistersville, West Virginia.
According to a post on the family’s Facebook page, 81-year-old Pearl Frisk was found by a pastor at a church there.
Several people, local police and the pastor stayed with Frisk and gave her food until her family could pick her up.
Frisk was reported missing by her family about 3:30 p.m. Monday after she left her home to drive to her granddaughter’s house a few miles away in Hermitage, but she never arrived.
Police began a search for Frisk, and found that her mobile phone was dead and there had been no activity on her credit cards.
The family worried that Frisk, leaving home wearing only a sweater, blue jeans and no jacket, would suffer in the elements if she were involved in an accident or left her vehicle.
A police officer reported giving directions to Frisk around 9:30 p.m. Monday, directing her toward Hermitage.
At 4 a.m. Monday, she was at an emergency room looking for a doctor’s office, was given directions and sent on her way, police said. She was last seen on Airport Road in Greenville around 10 or 11 a.m.
A search Tuesday included Hermitage, Sharon, West Middlesex, Sharon, New Castle, Grove City, Mercer, Dubious, Cranberry, Pittsburgh, Clarion, Cooks Forest and New Wilmington.
Frisk’s family said that despite her having dementia and being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, her doctor recently cleared her to drive and they’ve never had issues like this before.
Frisk’s granddaughter, Amanda Budzowski, launched a Facebook campaign to help locate her grandmother.
“For Gram, she doesn’t have a lot of dependence left because we take care of everything for her,” Budzowski said. “So it’s something we’ve thought about, but we thought she was still safe.”
In the family’s Facebook post, they addressed questions as to why Frisk was operating a vehicle:
We also acknowledge that many people are wondering why Pearl would still have access to a car and drive. Her dementia is very early stages and to this point her medical team did not recommend that she have her license removed. Every situation can be different in these cases and we take the advice of the medical team seriously as well as the early warning signs…Pearl’s tri-state 36-hour adventure was her last trip as a driver.
Frisk was found unharmed but confused, according to police.
Budzowski says Frisk is receiving treatment at Sharon Regional Hospital and is expected to be released within the next couple of days.