HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– A K-9 from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office helped deputies find a missing woman in Thonotosassa on Sunday, May 15.

According to reports,  shortly after 11:00 a.m., deputies were called to a home on the 11000 block of Bonnet Hole Drive in reference to a missing and endangered person. They learned that a woman in her late 60s who suffers from dementia had walked away from her home in the afternoon on May 14, 2022, and had not been seen since.

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HCSO deputies circulated the area, conducting a neighborhood survey, and the HCSO K-9 and Aviation Units quickly responded to assist with the search.

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While combing a wooded area across from the home, HCSO K-9 Toby, who is a bloodhound, and his handler, Deputy Craig Lariz, located the missing woman approximately 250 feet south of her home. In addition to deputies providing her with water and carrying her to safety, HCSO Aviation airlifted the woman to nearby Heritage Elementary School, where she was met by paramedics and received treatment before being transported to a local hospital due to severe dehydration.

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“There is nothing worse than the terror someone feels when their loved one goes missing. With the hot temperatures outside and the remote area where this woman had fallen, a very frightening outcome was avoided thanks to the diligent work of our deputies,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “I encourage others to use this as a reminder to call 911 immediately if someone in your care goes missing. For those caring for a loved one with special needs, a SafetyNet tracking bracelet could be a lifesaving tool.”