The search for missing Buckner resident Hellen Cook resumed near Warsaw, Mo., Friday after some clothing items thought to be hers were found Thursday.
Family and friends spent much of Thursday searching for Cook. And while they found some clothing items thought to be Cooks, there is still no sign of the woman.
According to family members, two pairs of boots were found in a wooded area off a walking trail near Warsaw, Mo. They were mens sizes 3 and 3.5, which are Hellens size. Inside one of the pairs of boots, a bundle of twigs was found. They were bunched together so that they were aligned perfectly. Along with the twigs were several pieces of folded material. Both are evidence of something Hellen would do, relatives said. Near the boots was a scarf Hellen was thought to have been wearing when she disappeared, as well as a hat.
After those items were found, more than 300 volunteers continued searching the wooded area that surrounds a pond. A police dog was taken into a boat to search and a police helicopter flew over the area. However, there was still no sign of Cook.
Among the volunteers who helped search for Hellen were more than 150 Air Force members from Whiteman Air Force Base where one of Cooks sons works. Benton County planned to bring in a dive team to search the pond in case Hellen somehow fell into the water.
Cook, 72, was last seen July 13 at Walnut Grove and Hensley Road in Benton County, which is near Truman Lake. She was working in the yard on the familys property while her husband, Howard Cook, was finishing mowing. When Cook left to return the mower to the barn, Hellen was sitting on a porch swing. However, when he returned 15 to 20 minutes later, she was gone.
The police believe that Cook walked up the driveway and climbed over a gate, continuing to walk toward Missouri 7. Dogs tracked Hellen as far as Cold Springs Ave. and M-7, but then lost the trail. Investigators believe she might have gotten into a car at this point. An avid walker, family members believed Cook might have tried to walk back to her home in Buckner. Searches have also been conducted in the Blue Springs and Buckner area and fliers have been posted throughout Eastern Jackson County and much of the region to alert residents about the missing woman.
Complicating matters further is the fact that Cook suffers from Alzheimers and has been without her medication since she went missing. This will cause severe confusion and disorientation, impairing her ability to speak in complete sentences.
As part of the search effort, the family is continuing to use social media to get Hellens picture seen by as many people as possible. They are asking Facebook users to Share or create their own posts describing Cook and included a picture of her. Those Facebook users should then ask family and friends to share the post so that as many people as possible throughout the United States can receive the information.
So far, hundreds of people on Facebook have been posting words of encouragement for the family and are helping to spread the word. Posts such as My prayers are with the family that she is found safe, This must be pure agony for the family; praying for her safe return and Still praying are just some of the comments that have been left for family and friends.
Keep sharing Hellens picture and description on your walls, said the family on Facebook. We still dont know where she is for sure. Hellen may be in a different state. Thank you all.
Anyone who might have seen Hellen Cook or with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Benton County atrocities at 660-438-9555 or dial 911.
Information on search efforts can also be found on the familys Facebook page at www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/FindHellenCook?fref=ts.
Focus turns to pond in search for missing woman