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Woman, 80, found 75 minutes after wandering away from caretakers' home

January 02, 2012

BOONSBORO — An 80-year-old woman who wandered away from her caretakers’ home Tuesday morning was found by a neighbor about 75 minutes later suffering from hypothermia and injuries from a fall, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Patricia Kerns was taken to Meritus Medical Center for treatment, the sheriff’s office said.

Maryland State Police and the sheriff’s office were notified at 10 a.m. that Kerns was missing from the caretakers’ Pendleton Court home, the report said. Kerns was not wearing a coat or shoes when she left, and the temperature was about 31 degrees, it said.

Deputies, troopers, a state police helicopter and neighbors joined in the search, the report said. An emergency phone-notification system was activated, sending automated calls to homes in the area telling residents to be on the lookout for Kerns.

Neighbor Donald Grabill found Kerns a short distance from her home at about 11:15 a.m., the report said.

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