Hellen Cook’s family hopeful as search reaches day 5

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BUCKNER, Mo. -- The Benton County Sheriff's Office continues to track numerous leads in their search for a missing elderly woman who walked away from her home outside Warsaw on Saturday.

Hellen Cook's family suspects she may be trying to get home to Buckner, where she and her husband lived for years.

"She's out here with no meds, no food, no water for over 96 hours now," said Teresa Cook, Hellen's daughter-in-law. "We want her back."

Link to the family's facebook page 'Find Missing Alzheimer's Woman Hellen Cook'

Wednesday evening, a group gathered in Buckner to go door-to-door and distribute pictures of Hellen Cook.

"If we don't keep that picture out there, I'm afraid people will forget," said her husband, Howard.

Howard and Hellen were doing yard work Saturday morning, so he didn't notice right away that she was gone. He said the last few days without her have been difficult.

"In the evenings, it's kind of tough and early in the mornings, it's kind of tough. Or if I wake up during the night. And of course I dream a lot. Not good," he said.

On Wednesday, police in Kansas City received a tip from someone who thought they saw Hellen at a Waldo Quick Trip.

"Oh my heart leaped. I thought.. oh... maybe this is it," Howard said.

But after reviewing surveillance video, police determined the woman was not Hellen.

Hellen and Howard are avid walkers, often walking between 4 to 7 miles a day. So the Cook family thinks 72-year-old Hellen got confused about where she was on Saturday morning and may be trying to walk the 115 mile journey back home.

Benton County authorities say they have used eleven different search K-9s from around the area and all the dogs determined Hellen walked to the intersection of Cold Springs Ave. and Missouri Route 7 Highway.

Then the K-9s lose track of her, which makes police believe she may have gotten into a car.

"We stayed here just in case she double backed somebody would be here for her, even though the dogs tracked her to 7 highway and lost her scent three sets of dogs confirmed it, but we're hoping she'll come walking down out of the woods 'here I am,'" Teresa said.

Benton County said one eyewitness observed an older female entering a newer model, dark-colored Ford F-150, about four miles south of Lincoln, Mo. on US 65 Highway.


The woman was wearing clothing that matched the description of the clothing Hellen was wearing. (white top and blue jean shorts.) Hellen is barely five feet tall, and 100 pounds.

If anyone has further information about this lead, or may have picked up a female on the roadside between two and three o'clock Saturday afternoon, Benton County asks you to contact them at 660-438-9555.

Her family says Hellen needs medication.

“She probably doesn't know her name any longer, it’s been a couple of days she probably doesn't look fresh and clean,” Terri, the Cooks' daughter said shortly after her mom disappeared. “So if someone sees a small stature woman 100 pounds and she looks confused might not be able to speak clearly, if they cold call police as soon as possible, so we can get our mother home.”

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