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Missing Woman with Dementia Located by Massachusetts State Police Using Tracking System at “Big E” Fairgrounds in West Springfield

Press Release 09/15/2017

West Springfield, Mass. 

Massachusetts State Trooper and Special Emergency Response Team Member Adam Leonczyk uses a SafetyNet Tracking Systems “Yagi Antenna” to acquire the signal of a woman with dementia who went missing at the BIG E Fairgrounds in West Springfield, MA on 9/15/17.  

A 76-year-old woman with dementia who became separated from her caregiver at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds on Tuesday was located due to the quick actions of police combined with a specialized tracking technology called SafetyNet.

The woman disappeared into the crowd of tens of thousands with no known direction of travel. Her caregiver immediately notified West Springfield Police who in turn notified Massachusetts State Police, who, among other tactics and capabilities, use SafetyNet Tracking Systems technology to locate missing people with cognitive conditions.

Once MSP Special Emergency Response Team Members (SERT) arrived at the fairgrounds with SafetyNet tracking equipment, they teamed up with West Springfield Officers and utilizing a police All-Terrain Vehicle, began a search for the missing woman.

The equipment, and the transmitter that was being worn by the missing woman, works on radio frequency technology which allows searchers to track and locate a missing individual, even if they are in a building or other structure. The radio frequency used by SafetyNet has the ability to penetrate steel, concrete, earth, water and other solid materials.

After being reported missing at about 7:30 p.m., officers began an intensive ground search while state police alerted their off-duty SERT members. Using an All-Terrain Vehicle supplied by the West Springfield Police, troopers with SafetyNet tracking equipment picked up the woman’s signal in the massive park and began a track in the direction where the signal was coming from. Within a short time of initiating the track, state troopers and West Springfield officers located the woman unharmed and returned her to her caregiver.

SafetyNet has had more than 675 successful searches for missing people with cognitive conditions since its inception in 2010 and the program is available statewide in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as parts of 16 other states. The Massachusetts State Police have been partnered with SafetyNet for the past five years and have had numerous rescues using the program including the lifesaving rescue of an elderly couple last January in Bourne.

For more information on SafetyNet call (877) 434-6384 or go to the SafetyNet website at www.safetynettracking.com.


Prepared by: SafetyNet Tracking Systems / Approved by: Massachusetts State Police