02-28-2008, 09:42 PM #1
FL - Mary Gill Zelter, 87, Largo, 26 Feb 2008 - Dementia
28 Feb 08
Police are asking the public's help in finding an 87-year-old woman with dementia who drove away from her assisted living facility Tuesday afternoon.
Mary Gill Zelter signed out of Regal Palms, 300 Lake Ave., at 1 p.m. Tuesday, according to a news release from the Largo Police Department.
She was driving a white 2003 Chrysler Sebring convertible with the Florida license plate CZ 103. She is about 5 feet 3 inches tall, with a thin build and white hair.
Zelter's credit card was used at an Albertson's supermarket at East Bay Drive and Belcher Road at about 1:30 p.m.
Police say Zelter has dementia and high blood pressure, and risks getting lost or hurt. They also are concerned because of tonight's cold temperatures.
Zelter lived in Venice until about four months ago, when she moved into Regal Palms.
Anyone with information about Zelter's whereabouts can contact the Largo Police Department at (727) 587-6728 or (727) 587-6730.
Mary Gill Zelter
03-01-2008, 09:11 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
Her family organized a search for her today at the Albertson's where she disappeared.
I hope she is found soon.
03-01-2008, 10:00 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Massive Search Today-1 March
Still no answers.
May Ms Zelter be found safe and soon.
03-03-2008, 08:59 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
No Clues From Search
03-03-2008, 09:04 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Florida Needs Amber Alert Like System for Seniors
Published: March 3, 2008
Updated: 03:48 pm
TAMPA - TAMPA -- Although Florida is flush with retired senior citizens, there's still no Silver Alert here. The program, which is finding homes in a growing number of states, might have worked last week when an elderly Largo woman afflicted with dementia disappeared and remains missing.
Four states have adopted laws designed to help endangered elderly people who wander off, but not the Sunshine State, which has the highest percentage of people older than 65 in the country.
"Our 85-plus population is growing twice as fast as any other state," said David Bruns, communications director with the Florida chapter of AARP in Tallahassee, "and one out of every two people 85 and older has some brain health issue."
Yet, the state has no plans on the horizon to implement a Silver Alert system, he said, although he is hoping someone brings the matter up during this year's legislative session, which opens Tuesday.
"This is clearly an idea that is catching on all around the country," he said. "The ball is definitely rolling. And this is a great idea for Florida."
Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado have enacted legislation implementing the Silver Alert program.
More are on the verge of taking action, Bruns said.
"There are active proposals coming up in so many states so fast, we almost can't keep track," he said.
Ohio, North Carolina and Maryland are working on Silver Alert legislation, he said.
AARP national policy-makers have looked at the emerging system and have come up with recommendations for states working to adopt such laws, he said.
"The challenging part is to enact provisions that not only protect senior citizens' safety," Bruns said, "but their privacy and dignity as well. This is a cutting-edge issue that is just surfacing all over the country."
He said such provisions include involvement of authorities, most likely law enforcement, which makes determination of an elderly person's mental capacities. The system would guard against issuing alerts of missing elderly people just on the word of family.
"It's important to have authoritative determination that the individual actually has an impaired capacity," Bruns said.
The issue was brought to light last week with the disappearance of Mary Gill Zelter, an 86-year-old woman who suffers from dementia, who walked away from a senior care center and hasn't been seen or heard from by family or friends since.
Zelter, who also has high blood pressure, disappeared from Regal Palms, an adult care center on Lake Avenue and drove away in her 2003 white Chrysler Sebring convertible.
She is about 5-foot-3 and has a thin build and white hair. Police say Zelter's credit card was used at the Albertsons a half-hour after leaving the senior center.
It was unknown whether a Silver Alert would have helped. In other states, the system works like an Amber Alert, which posts immediate alerts to law enforcement and other outlets when endangered children go missing.
The Amber Alert was established in Florida eight years ago. Over the past 13 months, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has issued 12 Amber Alerts, said Trena Reddick, spokeswoman for the agency
The FDLE, the Department of Community Affairs and the Florida Association of Broadcasters came up with the plan, which provides a way to immediately publicize suspected child abduction.
The system uses the Emergency Alert System as well as immediate notification of the Florida Highway Patrol that can post missing children alerts on message signs along highways. The alerts are also posted on Florida Lottery machines.
Alerts also are broadcast on radio and television stations as well as private businesses that have offered their services.
To have the FDLE issue an Amber Alert, the case must meet certain criteria. The child must be younger than 18, and there must be a clear indication of an abduction. Investigators must think the child's life is in danger, and there must be a detailed description of the child, abductor and vehicle to broadcast.
FDLE spokeswoman Kristen Perezluha said her agency doesn't have the Silver Alert system in the works, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible to place such alerts. A Child Is Missing, a nonprofit group in Fort Lauderdale, has used the system for 11 years find older people who went missing.====================SNIP
03-04-2008, 05:05 PM #6Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
Ms. Zelter's body has been discovered by fishermen in Clearwater on March 3 around 11 p.m. Her car was in the water.
03-04-2008, 06:07 PM #7
The search for a missing elderly woman ended Monday when police found her body in the water near her assisted living center in Florida.
Her disappearance sparked a passionate campaign to find her as well as a debate on so-called "silver alerts."
When a child goes missing, every state has an Amber Alert program, which immediately goes into action to find them. But only a handful of states have a "silver alert" program, which helps find lost seniors in the same way that the Amber Alert works.
Mary Zelter, 86, signed herself out of the Regal Palms home for seniors in Key Largo, Feb. 26. She said she was headed for a short shopping trip and drove to a nearby supermarket, where she was last seen.
more at link
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