Missing woman with Alzheimer's found near home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Missing woman with Alzheimer's found near home

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by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - An Iowa City man is breathing a sigh of relief after his missing wife returned home.

In June, Ken and Rita Reasoner will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, but when Ken woke up Thursday morning, Rita was gone.

Police spent the morning trying to find her, and around 10:30 she was found and brought home.

Ken said Rita's Alzheimer's has been getting worse in the past few years.

That made this a frightening scenario as many family members joined in the search.

Fortunately, it's a story with a happy ending.

The Reasoner family gathered on the back porch on the warm spring morning.

"I just can't describe how relieved I am," Ken Reasoner said. 

The Reasoners are grateful for this moment after a frightening morning.

"There's no way to describe it, just helpless," Reasoner said.

Ken Reasoner woke up shortly after 6:00 Thursday morning. His wife, Rita was gone. Rita was diagnosed with Alzheimer's five years ago so Ken quickly called 9-1-1.

"She lately doesn't even want to go out of the house," Reasoner said.

"I was kind of worried that she might have gone into a lake because she's not very good at swimming and she wouldn't know what to do," granddaughter Emily Reasoner said.

Police began searching the neighborhood knowing Alzheimer's sufferers normally don't wander very far.

"89 percent of the time they're found within a mile from where they are missing," Iowa City police Sergeant Troy Kelsay said.

That proved to be the case. After what Ken called a nerve-racking four hours, a neighbor found Rita walking just a block from her home.

"She doesn't even realize even yet she caused any problems which...she just went for a walk," Reasoner said. 

Rita is home safe and sound without a scratch. But her husband realizes this has served as a serious wake-up call.

"I'm gonna have to make some changes," Reasoner said. "I really didn't think she would leave in the dark."

Ken said one of the things he definitely plans on getting is a GPS bracelet for his wife, made specifically for Alzheimer's patients.

He said it will be tough Thursday night and he might just stay up or try sleeping in the living room near the front door.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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