A 73-year-old Brookfield woman reported missing by her daughter on the afternoon of Nov. 21 was found unharmed in her vehicle on the side of a highway near Decatur in central Illinois late that night, police have reported.

Brookfield detectives began trying to trace the woman’s location after police were notified of the situation at about 2:35 p.m. on Nov. 21. The woman’s daughter told police she had not been able to get hold of her mother, who suffers from dementia, and a neighbor confirmed the woman’s car was not parked where it typically was.

A computer check of the vehicle’s license plate indicated it had been run by a police officer in Grant Park, a village in Kankakee County, at 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 21 at a truck stop where the woman was attempting to pump gas. 

The woman was described as “disoriented,” but a police officer reported that she did not appear in need of any immediate medical attention and that he’d last seen her driving north from the scene.

Brookfield police issued a Silver Search Alert to all police agencies while detectives attempted to find security camera video and tollway transponder data to track the woman’s whereabouts.

According to Police Chief Michael Kuruvilla, it appears the woman left her home sometime on the afternoon of Nov. 20 and had been on the road since that time. After leaving Kankakee County, police say the woman drove north, approaching the Wisconsin border. But eventually a police officer reported finding the woman, unharmed but disoriented, inside the car at about 11 p.m. on Nov. 21 off a highway near Decatur. 

Emergency medical personnel transported the woman to a local hospital and the woman has since been reunited with the family, said Kuruvilla.