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Published on June 22, 2024
Missing Port St. Lucie Woman With Cognitive Disabilities Found Safe in Fort PierceSource: Port St. Lucie Police Department

In a fortunate turn of events, 57-year-old Theodora Sandlin-Williams, who went missing from Port St. Lucie, was found safe in Fort Pierce yesterday evening, as local authorities conducted a determined search effort for the endangered, non-verbal woman with cognitive disabilities, CBS12 and WPTV report.

After Sandlin-Williams disappeared while accompanying her husband at Great Smile Dental on Port St. Lucie Blvd, a comprehensive search was initiated, employing resources such as surveillance footage, which captured her last movements toward Floresta Drive, and a combination of drones and K-9 units to blanket the vicinity while officers canvassed the area questioning residents and businesses alike, Sgt. Dominick Mesiti of the Port St. Lucie Police Department delineated the urgency of the situation, stating, "Having a cognitive disability and being nonverbal, I mean, obviously, she's going to be in danger," explaining the approach to the search operation and detailing the additional risks posed to Sandlin-Williams given her inability to communicate effectively, which could engender further perils should a medical crisis emerge.

The search culminated when an observant passerby stumbled upon Sandlin-Williams wandering in Fort Pierce and, unaware of the active search, contacted the authorities to report his discovery, demonstrating the vital role community awareness can play in resolving such critical incidents. Mesiti articulated the simultaneous relief and urgency that drove the efforts: "Even though she's recovered in another jurisdiction. We're just glad that she's recovered and that she's safe and we can return her back to her husband," he said, highlighting the cross-jurisdictional nature of such cases.

Thanks to the vigilance of locals and the swift response of law enforcement, Sandlin-Williams was safely reunited with her family, the aforementioned sources indicated an ongoing investigation aims to piece together the events that transpired during the approximate four-hour gap in which she was missing, and though the exact circumstances of her brief disappearance remain uncertain for now.

Miami-Community & Society