Missing Chisholm Woman Found Safe

Posted at: 08/22/2013 4:56 PM | Updated at: 08/22/2013 10:45 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

An 84-year-old Chisholm woman disappeared on Tuesday, and was found safe on Thursday according to the St. Louis County Rescue Squad.

Margaret Archuleta was found by a canine team Thursday around 6 p.m. Lieutenant Rick Slatten said she was in great shape, but was transported to a local hospital for observation.

Chisholm Police said Archuleta, suffers from early stages of dementia, and disappeared on her porch Tuesday afternoon.

Police said she lives with her family, and they reported her missing an hour later. By Tuesday evening the St. Louis Rescue Squad was on the scene and hasn't stopped searching yet.

“Absolutely, this has been a 24-hour operation and it will stay that way,” Lieutenant Rick Slatten said. “She has been known to walk 3 miles, and if she chooses to do that all in one direction that presents a very sizable search area.”

He said she disappeared from a residential neighborhood, but there are wooded and swampy areas in the squad's four square mile search radius.

Because of that terrain the rescue squad called in some special resources on Thursday.

“We have four canines on site, and we have six more on route. Carlton County Mounted Posse is coming up from Cloquet to assist with trail searching,” Lt. Slatten said.

He said those resources help the squad be precise in their search despite the rough terrain.

Lt. Slatten said about 80 residents turned out to volunteer in the search.

“Chisholm really rolls out to take care of their own, and the whole Iron Range does. We've had a lot of help from across the range. A lot of volunteer fire departments have come out,” Lt. Slatten said.

He said that led to a productive sweep of some residential areas. Lt. Slatten said he won't turn away volunteers, but immense turnouts like that can be detrimental if organization goes awry.

“We spend less time searching and more time managing untrained volunteers, but what civilians can do is check your out buildings, check your property, and check your neighbor's property,” Lt. Slatten said.

That is no longer needed, but Lt. Slatten said the rescue squad will take most of Thursday evening to breakdown their mobile command center.

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