One brisk autumn weekend, an 81-year-old woman made her way outside of her home and became lost. Her family reported her having gone missing and informed the police that she probably hadn’t gone out for a quick errand – she had dementia. Every minute that she was gone made her situation even more dangerous. They needed to find her before she hurt herself or others, and the police were quick to respond.
Six weeks earlier, Randolf County in North Carolina had begun to use drones to aid them in searches. While the technology is still slowly being picked up by police departments, the county’s decision to branch out gave this story a happy ending.
Just 25 minutes after police began to use the drone, they spotted a bright purple jacket just at the edge of a massive cornfield. Surrounded by difficult terrain and dense vegetation, the search most likely wouldn’t have been as successful without the aid of the drone. Officers were able to approach just a short while later, and her family was contacted.
She was returned home, safe and sound, thanks to the drone!