K9 teams find missing 89-year-old in dense woods

Helen Bernstein

COLEBROOK, Conn. (WTNH)  –  An 89-year-old woman reported missing in Colebrook Thursday afternoon has been found by the Connecticut State Police search and rescue K9 teams about one mile into a heavily wooded forest.

Helen Bernstein was reported missing by family members around 4:45 p.m. She was last seen at their residence which sits on approximately 260 acres of land that abuts a state forest.

An initial search of the area turned up nothing and then a Massachusetts State Police helicopter with sophisticated night vision technology was also unsuccessful in locating her. Search and rescue teams then began a systematic search based upon available information, the terrain, and previous K9 tracks.

At approximately 10:50 p.m. Trooper Groot and K9 Ugo found an arrangement of flowers on the ground about 1/2 mile from the home in the woods that appeared to have been recently picked. Police had been told that Bernstein was a gardener so the search became focused on this area.

At about 11:55 p.m. Trooper Naples and K9 Ido found Bernstein conscious and alert but in need of medical attention for lacerations she received from falling on rough terrain. It took rescue crews another 1 hour and 45 minutes to bring her out of the woods to an ambulance due to the distance she was into the woods and the terrain.

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