Dorothy Cassel never forgot the story of her lost uncle.
In the early 1960s, Cassel’s uncle, Luther Hamit, who was in his late 80s, walked away from a nursing home and was found frozen to death in a plowed field.
Cassel, of El Reno, is a retired nurse who worked in long-term care centers. When she became president of the Silver-Haired Legislature, she began working on a plan to alert people statewide when an older adult goes missing.
Last year there were 39 Silver Alerts statewide. So far this year, there have been 16. Silver Alerts started in Oklahoma in 2007.
A Web site is expected to launch in about two months that will feature all active Silver and Amber alerts and include information about past alerts with the conclusion of the search.
Like Amber Alerts, which are issued for missing children, a Silver Alert may flash a photo of a missing person on an electronic highway billboard and can be picked up by media Web sites statewide in minutes.
The new Web site is designed to help with the search, said Gene Thaxton, coordinator of the Department of Public Safetys’ Amber and Sliver alert programs and director of telecommunications.
If someone catches a report on a missing senior adult and thinks they see the person later, the Web site could help, Thaxton said. He said people can go to the Web site to get a longer and closer look at the missing person’s photograph and read details about the alert.
A recent Silver Alert was issued for Jesse Kilgore, 82, whose scent was tracked by dogs to a bridge about two miles from his Lincoln County home near Kendrick. Then the trail was lost and a ground search was exhausted the night a snowstorm started moving into the area.