Elderly Woman Missing Since Friday Found Safe

By: Catherine Van/Staff Email
By: Catherine Van/Staff Email

RENO, Nev. -- An elderly woman, missing from Reno is safe and has reunited with her family thanks to the efforts of more than 350 determined volunteers. The hard work paid off when the community came together to lend a helping hand.

Missing for two days without food or water, 83-year-old Elaine Haines was separated from her husband after a routine walk at Mayberry Park.

"People were starting to worry a lot, you know, can we even find her? Chuck Reno, volunteer coordinator said. "We were kind of losing hope, it was getting late, it was 45 hours after she disappeared that she showed up."

Haines was found north of the Truckee River, just west of McCarran Blvd. by members of her church. She was hidden deep in the brush away from any businesses or homes. Reno, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints helped organize volunteers to aid the Washoe County Sheriff's Office's search and rescue team.

"Where she was found, it was amazing anyone even saw her. We went out in groups and combed through some of the fields went to businesses downtown, left up fliers, reported sightings at Wingfield Park and Stoker and Fourth and all these types of sightings but none of them really panned out.

Volunteers were separated into groups and then sent to designated areas to thoroughly search and report back to the command post.

"{Volunteers} didn't just bring out hundreds of people who were scattered, they had very good leadership. They were very well organized, they coordinated nicely with our command post so we were able to to keep our groups working together in a coordinated fashion," Bob Harmon, Washoe County Sheriff's Office PIO said.

Haines was found about a mile away from where she was last seen. Search and rescue advise, if you're ever lost, the best thing to do is to call for help and to stay put, that way it will minimize the searching perimeter.

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UPDATE, Sunday 11:30am:
RENO, Nev. -- A Washoe County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) official says 83-year-old Helen "Elaine" Haines was found safe Sunday morning. She has been returned to her family.

WCSO's Bob Harmon says volunteers from the church Haines attends found her on the north side of the Truckee River just west of McCarran at about 8:30 Sunday morning. More than 300 members of the church helped WCSO Search and Rescue volunteers over the course of the two-day hunt for Haines. A crew aboard Raven also searched from the sky.

WCSO Undersheriff Tim Kuzanek said, "We want to make sure that everyone who took part in this search knows how much we appreciate their willingness to devote so much time and energy for the sake of another."

Haines went missing while on a walk from Mayberry Park toward downtown Reno on Friday morning.

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UPDATE, Saturday, 11am:
RENO, Nev. -- Washoe County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) personnel are expanding their search for an elderly woman who has been missing since late Friday morning.

83-year-old Helen Elaine Haines, who goes by "Elaine," was last seen at 11am Friday, August 16th in Mayberry Park. She was heading eastbound on foot.

WCSO's Bob Harmon tells KOLO 8 News Now crews are expanding their search from the Mayberry Park area east to downtown Reno. They are focused primarily on the Truckee River areas - including Ambrose, Crissie Caughlin, and Idlewild Parks, and the river walk - and on areas around W. 4th St.

Harmon says several dozen WCSO volunteers are participating in the search, and more than 150 people from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where Haines is a member, are helping. A crew aboard Raven is also searching from the sky.

Officials describe Haines as 5'5", 175 pounds, with gray hair and hazel eyes. She was wearing dark pants and a blue or a red and white striped blouse.

Harmon emphasizes if anyone sees a woman matching Haines' description, they can call 775-785-WCSO (9276) or 911.

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RENO, Nev. -- Washoe County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) personnel are searching for an elderly woman who has been missing since late Friday morning.

According to a WCSO official, 83-year-old Helen Elaine Haines, who goes by "Elaine," was last seen at 11am Friday the 16th of August in Mayberry Park. She was heading eastbound on foot.

Officials describe Haines as 5'5", 175 pounds, with gray hair and hazel eyes. She was wearing dark pants and a blue or a red and white striped blouse.

Officials say this is not an emergency situation, but they are concerned and would like to find her as soon as possible.


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