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The Lake News Online
  • Search for woman missing in Benton County continues

  • The search continues today for Hellen Cook. An organized search in Benton County got underway this morning for the 72-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer's who was reported missing almost two weeks ago.
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  • The search continues today for Hellen Cook. An organized search in Benton County got underway this morning for the 72-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer's who was reported missing almost two weeks ago.
    Searchers met at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 25 at Bledsoe Ferry in Warsaw to receive instruction from the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
    Cook was reported to have gone missing around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13 from a residence at Walnut Grove Rd. in Warsaw. When the family couldn't find her, the Benton County Sheriff's Office was notified around 3:30 p.m. that day.
    Deputies began a search of the area at that time, and a missing person report was entered into the law enforcement notification system. Local media were also notified and aired information about Cook.
    Cook stands about 5 feet tall and weighs around 97 pounds. She has brown hair, blue eyes and was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, blue jean shorts, tennis shoes and was carrying boots and a walking stick.
    She may be trying to get back to her home in Buckner, Mo.
    Officers searched the area near the residence where Cook went missing by vehicle, foot and ATV on the evening of July 13. Search and rescue dogs also responded and searched through the night.
    Cook was tracked to Highway 7 and Cold Springs Ave. about four miles from the residence, but as canine units continued the search the next morning in and around Warsaw, the trail went cold.
    Two private pilots volunteered to help and searched by air.
    On Sunday afternoon, July 14, Cook was listed as a missing endangered person.
    On Monday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter also flew over the area, and the Highway Patrol Water Division patrolled the lake area along with the Missouri Department of Conservation with no results. Another dog team was brought in and searched through the night and part of the next day with negative results.
    On Tuesday, July 16, the sheriff's office asked for assistance from the Hickory County Mounted Posse to search the rest of the area from Highway 7 to the residence that could not be seen from the air. That search went until dark and resumed Wednesday, but again came up with nothing.
    Multiple officers from the area maintained a presence and a search of the area for five straight days.
    On Wednesday afternoon, July 17, the ground search was halted with no remaining assets known to be available.
    Periodic searches of the area were continued by Benton County and state law enforcement by land and water with no results.
    The Benton County Sheriff's Office has responded to and checked multiple leads from possible sightings but none were confirmed or lead to a dead end.
    Page 2 of 2 - On Sunday, July 21, Howard Cook, Hellen's husband, and other family asked if they could get volunteers from Whiteman Air Force Base to help search.
    The sheriff's office agreed to coordinate another search of the area if Whiteman had the personnel. A local radio station was alerted of the search and asked for any and all volunteers as well.
    The sheriff's office is coordinating today's search with Whiteman Air Force Base.
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