Woman found after search in Columbia

Pictured is an aerial map of the area where emergency personnel located a missing woman.

The Columbia Fire Department and Columbia EMS assisted the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department in locating a woman who was missing after her vehicle either went off the roadway or she got lost in wintry conditions early Thursday evening.

Columbia EMS first responded to the 1600 block of Metter Road off Bluffside Road in rural Columbia about 5 p.m. to assist deputies in locating the woman and her vehicle after pings of her cell phone put her in that general area.

Dispatch advised deputies that the caller, a 58-year-old female from Arnold, Mo., stated she was out of gas and did not know where she was. Dispatch advised the caller was in a white Mercury sedan.

“They met with the caller’s husband, who stated his wife has early stages of dementia and has gotten lost in the past,” St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Bruce Fleshren said. “They were able to speak with her on the phone, but could not get a good location as to where she was.”

Following unsuccessful attempts to locate the vehicle or the woman, the fire department responded to the area at about 6:20 p.m. to assist in the search with lighting and UTVs. Fire officials reported the roadways to be “very slick” while traveling to the search location.

At about 6:45 p.m., the woman and her vehicle were located in the quarry near a wooded area not far from where her cell phone had pinged after she could be heard yelling for help. A CFD aerial drone was able to pinpoint her precise location and rescuers brought her to safety.

“The Columbia Fire Department was able to locate a vehicle and person standing next to the vehicle approximately 100 yards west of Metter Road down by the rock quarry,” Fleshren said. “Deputies responded to the area on foot and located the female subject inside the car.”

She received treatment from EMS personnel at the scene but declined medical transport.

 The car was stuck in the mud far off any roadway. The Columbia Fire Department transported the female in an off-road emergency vehicle to a Columbia EMS unit that was waiting down the road.

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