The search this week for a man in Greenville County highlights the challenges law enforcement agencies face in missing persons cases. Many departments use more than just their officers to help bring home your loves ones.
When someone calls in a missing person to Oconee County, dispatchers first check the computer for information from a special bracelet used to keep track of vulnerable children or adults.
Right now, 24 people in Oconee County are wearing one, through a program called Project Lifesaver.
“We’ll go to the last point that they’re seen, basically using that receiver. And we have the frequency of their unit so that we can then be able to track them within a one mile radius,” said Spokesperson Jimmy Watt.
The program helps to solve challenging cases that we hear about in the Carolinas almost daily.
Just Tuesday afternoon, 85-year-old William Milton Williams was reported missing in Greenville County. His wife of 35 years told us he has the beginning stages of dementia and left his cell phone at home in Mauldin.
In May, the search for a diabetic man with dementia in Union County spanned several counties. Deputies called in other neighboring police to help while a SLED helicopter searched from above. The man was later found in North Carolina.
Agencies also turn to blood hounds. Some puppies born last year are now on the force in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union Counties to help track down missing persons.
And in Anderson County, the sheriff’s office has a Mounted Search and Rescue Team, the first one in the Upstate. It gives them a higher perspective and better access in rough terrain.
If you live in Oconee County and have a loved one that could benefit from one of those bracelets, call the sheriff’s office. They are free. You do have to qualify medically and live in the county. For more information, call the Project Lifesaver Coordinator at: (864) 718-1049.
There is also ID jewelry you can buy for vulnerable adults to wear through the Alzheimer’s Association. For more information, call (800) 272-3900.