Yesterday's search for a missing rural Lawrence County women ended happily as law enforcement officials found her lying in the woods where she had fallen and could not get up to seek help.
Lawrence County's K-9 Magnum, his handler Detective Chad Garoutte and Detective Melinda Mitchell were the ones to locate 52-year-old Nancy Dickerson, of Republic, after she'd been missing for 12 hours.
After an hour of searching with Magnum, Dickerson was found about a mile and a half from her home, unconscious in some brush. The Lawrence County deputies awakened Dickerson and called for medical assistance. Dickerson said she had gotten lost, slipped and fell on the terrain and was unable to get up to summon assistance.
Conservation Agent Andy Barnes, who was assisting in the search, used his four-wheel drive to reach the deputies. He then transported Dickerson to a nearby roadway where an ambulance transported her to a Springfield hospital for treatment of exposure and an injured leg.
"The successful use of the department's K-9 along with the hard work of the deputies involved turned what could have been a tragic situation into a good ending," said Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay.
Dickerson's husband discovered his wife was missing when he awoke in the early morning hours of Oct. 27. According to the husband, Dickerson hadn't been feeling well and had gone to sleep on the couch in the living room.
At around 10 p.m. on Monday night, Dickerson decided to take a walk on the property, and it wasn't until about 6:30 a.m. yesterday morning that her husband could not locate her.
When the husband couldn't find her in the home and after calling family members to see if they knew where she was, the husband called the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office to report her missing.
After an initial assessment of the situation, Sheriff DeLay and several of his deputies began a search of the heavily wooded area around the couple's home. Within an hour of calling in Magnum to assist with the search, Dickerson was found.