Dorothy ‘Kae’ Turner missing Oregon dementia sufferer, 84, found dead, daughter, 58 survives after getting lost in Idaho forest en route to funeral.
An elderly dementia sufferer died after getting lost in a remote forest while traveling to a funeral with her mentally-disabled daughter. The mother died from the elements while the disabled daughter was found alive with their broken down vehicle.
Deputies say the pair – Dorothy ‘Kae’ Turner, 84, and daughter Heidi Turner, 58 – were following GPS navigation from Pendleton, Oregon to Salt Lake City when they got lost in the northern Idaho forest.
Dorothy left to find help when their car broke down, but died from exposure to the elements while Heidi, who is mentally disabled, stayed behind. She survived her ordeal, although no further updates on her condition have been given.
A hunter discovered the mother’s body in the Solitaire Saddle area of the Panhandle National Forest and reported it to the authorities at 11.45am Friday, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies then discovered the broken-down gold 2015 Chrysler Town and Country minivan nearby with the daughter still alive and suffering from minor injuries.
Why were they allowed to travel unsupervised?
A family member who reported them missing said they were taking an ‘unusual route’ through Idaho, according to the East Idaho News. The mother and daughter were reported missing from Pendleton, about 5 hours southwest of the forest, on Wednesday.
‘They were en route to Salt Lake City, UT from Pendleton, OR for a family funeral. Kay suffers from dementia and we have reason to believe that they may be lost and/or in danger,’ family member Doniell Taylor Arnold said in a Facebook post Thursday.
Deputies say the incident is under investigation but doesn’t appear to be suspicious.
Not immediately clear is how the two women came to travel unsupervised.
On Friday, Arnold updated her post: ‘Kae and Heidi were in an accident in the Coeur d’Alene area,’ referring to an area of the Idaho forest.
‘Aunt Kae passed and our hearts are broken. Heidi has minor injuries. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers.’ She added that the dead woman’s loved ones had ‘lost their pillar.’
Relative Tara Dahl commented on the sheriff’s office press release on Facebook thanking deputies and the hunter who found them.
‘These 2 ladies were my aunt and cousin. I wanted to personally reach out and thank all the officers who helped find my aunt and cousin. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.
‘Also to the hunter that helped, thank you. Words also can’t describe how much we appreciated you. If anyone knows who this hunter is please let him know how much appreciation we have for him.’