Missing Woman Found Safe With Great-grandson At Truck Stop

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. (WCNC) -- An elderly woman who suffers from dementia and her 5-year-old great-grandson have been found safe at a truck stop in Davie County.

The Alexander County Sheriff's Office says 76-year-old Stony Point resident Mary Ann Yoder and her 5-year-old great-grandson Dustin had been missing since Monday morning.

Family members say Yoder usually stays with Dustin at his home on Elk Shoals Church Loop in Stony Point until it's time to take him to school at Stony Point Elementary School.

Dustin never showed up to school, officials say.

Law enforcement and other emergency services personnel began a massive multi-county search effort. Authorities searched by air and ground wooded areas near the home and throughout Alexander County.

Investigators had little information to go on until a cashier recognized Yoder in Iredell County.

Authorities say Yoder was captured on surveillance video at Barkers Log Cabin Grocery in Harmony, NC.

She told the cashier she didn't have any cash and wrote a check for $10 of gas, a toy and a drink.

The store's owner says they ran Yoder's check through EFT because she was not a regular customer. At some point during the transaction, the cashier recognized Yoder's name from the news.

The next sighting was in Davie County around 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Davie County's Sheriff told WCNC's Dianne Gallagher that a woman getting gas at a truck stop recognized Yoder's 1997 Toyota 4Runner. She quickly called 911.

There was damage to the front end of Yoder's Toyota 4-runner, but both Yoder and her great-grandson appeared to be ok.

Authorities also found a small brown dog asleep and uninjured in the vehicle.

For the first time in 15 hours, Mary Yoder and her grandson were reunited with their family at the Davie County truck stop and returned home.


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