CADILLAC —The 83-year-old Cadillac woman missing for more than a day has been found safe and alive, Michigan State Police report.
Patricia Eisenhardt Stark was found Wednesday evening wrapped up in weeds near the intersection of 46 1/2 Road and 39 Road. MSP report no major injuries but she was transported by EMS to be checked out. She was found by a volunteer helping with the search.
Larry Roderick searched the woods and cornfields near his property on 46 1/2 Road all day and night Tuesday.
He also devoted the entire day Wednesday to the search.
"I had to be here," Roderick said. "I would want people to do the same for me."
Roderick was one of a number of people in the area who searched with golf carts and ORVs for Patricia Eisenhardt Stark.
Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, the MSP announced they were looking for Stark, who was last seen earlier in the day Tuesday.
Members of the community joined law enforcement, including the Michigan State Police and Wexford County Sheriff's Office, in the search.
Roderick said he didn't realize how little he knew of the area until he tried to search it: the region surrounding Stark's home is a combination of fields, swampland, forests, and rows of corn.
On Tuesday, Roderick and others searched for several hours, taking a break only when the MSP brought in a helicopter and an infrared camera to attempt to locate Stark.
Roderick said Little Caesers Pizza offered to donate food to the search party on Tuesday.
"It's how things used to be," Roderick said in regard to neighbors and the community banding together to help one of their own.
Terry Stark, 62, estimated he walked 10 miles searching for his stepmother Tuesday night and on Wednesday, he was going door-to-door in downtown Cadillac trying to find out if anyone knew anything about her whereabouts.
With tears streaming down his face, Stark told the Cadillac News he feared the worse for his stepmother, who suffers from Alzheimer's.
Terry said when his father awoke on Tuesday, his stepmother was gone. He said the last time someone saw her she was walking about a quarter-mile away from the house, purse in hand.
He said her Alzheimer's is so bad that she might not even be able to identify herself if someone asked who she was.
Terry said she may respond if someone calls her "Patty."
His ultimate fear was that she wandered away and either succumbed to the elements or was abducted along the side of the road.
The response from law enforcement was encouraging, but Terry said looking for someone in a cornfield is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
"I feel like it may be a waste of time but I've been stopping every place to see if anyone's seen her," Terry said before his stepmother was found. "I don't know what to do. She's a really nice woman."