Thermal-Imaging Helicopter Locates Elderly Md. Woman Lost in Extreme Cold

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — An elderly woman lost outdoors in the extreme cold Wednesday night was found safely by authorities using a thermal-imaging helicopter.

Prince George’s County police say a woman called police and said her 80-year-old mother, who suffers from dementia, had wandered off and hadn’t returned home. The woman said she was worried about her mother’s well-being because temperatures were in the single digits and wind chills below zero degrees.

Rescue personnel searched the area near the 11200 block of Evans Trail in Beltsville using a helicopter equipped with the thermal imaging system FLIR. The flight crew noticed a hot spot in nearby woods and guided officers on the ground to that location.

The missing woman was found on the ground in the snow, and police say she wasn’t able to get up on her own.

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