The family of missing Sullivan woman Betty Alexander, 69, are determining where to search next as police, volunteers and friends have canvassed the entire city of Sullivan and wooded areas.
Alexander has been missing for about three weeks. The family is offering a $2,500 reward. Alexander’s daughter, Tonya Tolliver, told The Missourian her mother was last seen Wednesday, April 10, around 1:15 p.m. Alexander was at her apartment and had received a delivery from Sinks Pharmacy at that time.
She said the family discovered that Alexander took her medicine that night around 7 p.m., but did not take her medicine the following day. Tolliver said Alexander’s disappearance has been narrowed down to after 7 p.m. and before the morning of Thursday, April 11.
It was a few days later that the family noticed Alexander was missing.
On Sunday, April 14, at 4:30 p.m. Tolliver stopped by her mother’s apartment in Center Street Apartments complex to pick up Alexander. She said Alexander did not answer her phone when she called as Tolliver was driving over.
When Tolliver arrived, the door was locked so she let herself in with a key.
“When I walked in, I saw she had the Meals on Wheels sitting on her table,” Tolliver said. “I picked up the milk to see if it was still cold, and it wasn’t, so I started looking around and I saw her glasses sitting on the arm of her recliner.”
She added that it is unusual for her mother to leave the house without her glasses. She saw Alexander’s purse was left inside a closet that has her wallet, medications, her apartment key, her nondriver’s license and other belongings.
“Nothing in the house has been touched,” Tolliver said.
Alexander has beginning stages of dementia and takes medication for it, according to Tolliver.
“The doctor said if she didn’t have her medication, you wouldn’t really notice a difference. It’s just kind of mixing up names or forgetting a name every once in a while, but nothing to where she would just wander off,” she said.
After Tolliver realized her mother was missing, she said she immediately called her brother, who had been trying to get a hold of Alexander too. Tolliver also went outside to talk to neighbors and called the police.
That night, police started a grid search along with canine officers. The following day, police searched for Alexander using a helicopter, drones, canines and volunteers who were going door-to-door, according to Tolliver.
Another search was organized Saturday, April 20, and flyers have been posted throughout Sullivan, Tolliver said.
“We’ve searched through the woods and still have come up with nothing. We have no clues,” she said.
Tolliver added that they have followed every lead from those who think they might have seen Alexander.
“We don’t know what other areas we need to search. Franklin County (Sheriff’s Office) is supposed to be going over a map and comparing what we’ve done and where they’ve had calls about people trespassing, hunting or mushroom hunters, or stuff like that to help us know where to go next,” Tolliver said.
For anyone with information about Alexander, call the Sullivan Police Department at 573-468-8001. There also is a Facebook page called Bring Betty Home where Tolliver posts updates.
Tolliver said people can help by sharing Facebook posts to spread awareness of her mother’s photo and story.