Firefighters locate 84-year-old nearly 2 miles away

By Vicky Wedig


Firefighters found an 84-year-old woman nearly two miles from her home Saturday three hours after she reportedly wandered from her condominium.

Delavan firefighters Chris Lofy and Capt. Adam Booth found 84-year-old Rita Cichon at Wright and Ann streets after she was reported missing from her Eagle Point condominium, which is off Second Street, said Police Chief Tim O’Neill.

A resident called police at about 5:20 p.m. Saturday and said Cichon, who has disabilities, walked away from her condo about 45 minutes earlier and had a high probability of getting lost, O’Neill said.

Police and rescue personnel couldn’t find Cichon within a five- or six-block radius of her home, but about an hour after she was reported missing, citizens reported seeing her downtown.

“We knew that she was out and mobile,” O’Neill said.

When Cichon hadn’t been found two hours after the search began, police issued a “reverse 911” or Code Red that calls phones within a certain geographic area to alert residents to the missing woman.

“It was a nice tool to be able to use that,” he said.

Although the alert didn’t yield any results, residents reported that the system worked well, O’Neill said.

The fire department was brought in to help with the search, and, at about 7:30 p.m., Lofy and Booth spotted Cichon at Wright and Ann streets and returned her home, he said.

“It was a happy ending,” O’Neill said.

He said Cichon was somewhat disoriented but in good condition.




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