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Examiner
  • Search moves back to Benton County

  • The family of missing Buckner resident Hellen Cook continues to chase down tips that could lead them to their wife, mother and friend.



    However, 10 days after she went missing near Warsaw, the family is not much closer to figuring out what happened to Cook when she walked away from the family’s vacation home.

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  • The family of missing Buckner resident Hellen Cook continues to chase down tips that could lead them to their wife, mother and friend.
    However, 10 days after she went missing near Warsaw, the family is not much closer to figuring out what happened to Cook when she walked away from the family’s vacation home.
    Cook, 72, was last seen around 11:30 a.m. July 13 near her Warsaw, Mo., vacation home.
    Terri Cook, Hellen’s daughter, said the family met with the Benton County Sheriff’s Department Monday. Several things came out of the two-hour meeting including the agreement from Benton County to organize a hand-to-hand search if enough volunteers were provided.
    Cook suffers from Alzheimer’s and has been without her medication since she went missing. This will cause severe confusion and disorientation. She will likely not recognize her name, nor will she be able to speak in complete sentences.
    According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s victims will generally “curl up into a small ball in the tiniest of crevices or window wells” if they become disorientated and confused.
    At least 200 volunteers are needed to conduct the field and woods search, which will be scheduled Wednesday or Thursday.
    In addition, a detective with the Missouri State Troopers Association is going to meet with everyone who saw Hellen the day she went missing. The goal is to reinterview everyone to ensure that the most accurate data is gathered.
    She was last seen at Walnut Grove and Hensley Road in Benton County, in the Truman Lake area. She was working in the yard while her husband, Howard Cook, was mowing the yard. When Howard finished mowing, he returned to the barn to put the equipment away. When he returned 15 to 20 minutes later, Hellen was gone. It appears she walked up the driveway and climbed over a gate, toward Missouri 7. Dogs tracked Hellen as far as Cold Springs Ave. and M-7, but then lost the trail.
    The Kansas City police are also being asked to bring in another group of search dogs to a campsite in Warsaw. The dogs will be used to see if they can pick up any new scents.
    In an effort to find Cook, her family as well as hundreds of volunteers have been plastering photos of her everywhere. In addition, four electronic billboards have been donated by Lamar Advertising, which also include Cook’s picture and vital information. The billboards are located throughout the metropolitan area.
    Hellen Cook was wearing jean shorts, a light-colored T-shirt and tennis shoes when she was last seen. She is described as nearly 5-foot tall and 97 pounds with short brown or auburn hair.
    Several search parties were organized in the Kansas City area as well as near Warsaw over the weekend in an attempt to find Cook. Phone calls were made to hospitals and area retailers, but none of the tips that came in were successful in finding Cook. Tips have come in from all over the region including Grain Valley, Liberty, Clinton, Warsaw, Raymore, Overland Park and even in Ohio.
    Page 2 of 2 - The family also spent part of Monday searching all vacant buildings and outbuildings in the Warsaw area where Hellen was last seen.
    “Your support has been incredible this week and no words can express how touched the Cook family is,” said the family on the Facebook page created to help in the search for Hellen. “Many of you are strangers who never met Hellen and to you we are especially grateful. We hope that the community knows the beautiful, caring woman Hellen was. No one had a smile as vibrant, a laugh as infectious, or a heart as big as Hellen’s.”
    Anyone who might have seen Hellen Cook or with information is asked to call the Benton County authorities at 660-438-9555 or dial 911. Information on search efforts can also be found open the family’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/FindHellenCook?fref=ts

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