Officials in Asheboro turned to new technology when a woman went missing Sunday: drones.
The 81-year-old woman, who suffers from dementia, was reported missing Sunday morning around 11:30 a.m., and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office called in a drone operator to help with the search, officials said.
It took Officer Adam Krolfifer just 25 minutes to find the woman after she was reported missing. Krolfifer, an FAA-certified drone operator, flew the machine over a corn field, where the woman was found.
The woman, who officials didn’t identify, can be seen on drone footage standing with a bright-colored jacket as she adjusts her hood over her head.
“I am thankful to hear the good news of the safe return of the missing person,” Sheriff Robert Graves said in a statement on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.
The drone program is fairly new to the sheriff’s office, and while it has been used on a few other occasions, Sunday was the first time a drone was used to find a missing person, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune.
Sunday’s success gives the sheriff’s office optimism for future use of the drone, Krolififer, who has eight years of drone experience, said.
“We look forward to what we’re going to be able to do with this project,” he told the Observer on Tuesday. “Just on Sunday alone, the drone pretty much spoke for itself in that one instance.”
Others who saw the video on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page were impressed by the technology.
“Good work Sheriff! Great use of modern technology and making the most of the talents and skills of your officers!” one user wrote.
“What a blessing this program appears to be,” said another.