ST. GEORGE — The Iron County Sheriff’s Office has begun an in-depth search of the areas surrounding Cedar City in an attempt to locate a missing woman with dementia.
According to a press release from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, 71-year-old Carol Stratton was last seen wearing an orange and blue sweater with a red hat and a large, jeweled necklace. Stratton is non-verbal and was last seen near 3700 W. 4000 North in Cedar City around 2 p.m. Saturday.
Stratton’s family told St. George News that her dementia has rapidly progressed in a short period of time.
Officials dispatched K9 units to a potential location and has asked the public to avoid walking in the area while the search is ongoing but added that driving vehicles is permissible. The Iron County Sheriff’s Office also advised volunteers searching for Stratton to alert someone to their location when they are going out to look.
“Without a light on her our local resources are limited,” a spokesperson said in the press release.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Office has also used Southern Utah University aviation to aid in air searches, but officials were unable to use the Utah Highway Patrol helicopter as it was unavailable. Officials have reached out to the Arizona Department of Public Safety to ask for assistance and are using a drone equipped to see at night to comb the area.
Officials have received conflicting reports regarding a timeline of events and Stratton’s last known location, making it difficult to narrow the search.
Despite the broad scope of the search, crews were back out early this morning, checking areas from state Route 130 to Three Peaks as well as from Midvalley Road to 300 North.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to search around their homes and in their outbuildings for Stratton, and if she is found, to call the sheriff’s office at 435-867-7550.
Stratton’s niece Julie Foster told St. George News with the dropping temperatures, the family is concerned about Stratton’s wellbeing.
“She needs to be found,” Foster said. “She is the sweetest lady ever. I pray that enough searchers can locate her.”
Foster said Stratton walks every day near her home. Stratton and her husband, Bert Stratton, were doing chores around a section of the Bauer Farm when Foster said Stratton wandered into unfamiliar terrain.
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