WATERFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- After missing for nearly 48 hours, a K9 unit found 77-year-old Ruth Brennan safe and alive in the woods in Waterford. She had gone missing Monday morning about 10:30 a.m. after going on a walk. She was last seen at 5 Kezars Road in Waterford, heading toward Melby's Store. Brennan was found approximately 1.25 miles from the point she was last seen on Monday. She was also about 1.25 miles from the camp at which she had been staying.
"She was quite a ways away and spent quite a bit of time walking in the woods," said Lt. Adam Gormley.
Wardens and volunteers were focusing on two search areas Wednesday based on two credible eye witness accounts. Lt. Gormley said the area she was found was a "lower priority" area. Volunteers probably would not have gotten to the area until the afternoon, he said. Wardens had dogs out there in the morning to see if they could find a scent, in a spot that "only a K9" could have found her.
"She's up and drinking water..it's a great day here," said Lt. Gormley.
Wardens had asked for volunteers to help search Wednesday, starting at 8:00 a.m. By 8:05 am., about 50 people had already arrived. The Wardens sent people out in teams of eight to 10, with a trained volunteer or warden leading the group.
The search for Brennan had covered the air and ground. Early Wednesday morning Wardens had K9 units searching the area before any volunteers arrived. Authorities also asked people who own property in the area to look around their property and outbuildings. Tuesday's search covered mostly roadsides, trail edges, streams, and travel ways.
Brennan's family said she suffers from dementia, but it is not severe. She is in good health and routinely walks up to three miles a day. Wardens said they suspected she got turned around while walking.
The search effort including several agencies and departments to include the Maine Warden Service, Oxford County Sheriff's Department, Maine State Police, Air National Guard, *MASAR search volunteers, *MESARD canine teams, Maine Forest Service, Mid-Maine Equestrian horseback teams, and Baxter State Park Rangers. In total, 146 people were involved in the search for Ruth Brennan. The Maine Warden Service would like to thank all those who responded and aided in this significant search effort.
*The Maine Association for Search and Rescue (MASAR) is a non-profit organization that promotes and develops search and rescue resources for the state of Maine. MASAR provides training and certification for search and rescue volunteers using nationally-recognized standards. See mainesearchandrescue.org for more information.
*MESARD is associated with MASAR and includes certified canine search teams from Maine. Please visit MESARD.org for more information.