FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2008

CONTACT: Seb D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Jim Lowney, 908-527-4711


“Project Lifesaver” Helps Union County Sheriff’s Officers
Locate Missing Man Suffering from Alzheimer's Disease


ELIZABETH—Union County Sheriff’s Officers found a missing man with Alzheimer’s disease after a 20-minute search on Thursday with the help of the “Project Lifesaver” tracking system.

The 81-year-old man was enrolled in “Project Lifesaver,” a program that outfits at-risk individuals with a watch-sized transmitter that can be tracked by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit if the individual is reported missing or lost.

“If it wasn’t for “Project Lifesaver” we may have not located this gentleman before something terrible happened,” said Union County Sheriff Ralph Froehlich. “Instead, because of this program, we found him safe and well in 20 minutes.”

The man’s wife reported he wandered away from their Madison Avenue home about 2 p.m. Soon after, five Sheriff’s units began a grid search of the area. Three of the units were equipped with “Project Lifesaver” receivers.

The search lead Sheriff’s Officer Brian Way to the area of North and Newark Avenues when his receiver picked up a strong signal from the transmitter in front of the Stop & Shop supermarket. Officer Way entered the store and found the man at the check-out counter. He was in good health and was then returned to his family.

“I am very proud of all the officers involved in the search,” said Sheriff Froehlich. “It is exactly what we expect of our officers—to provide quality service.”

The Union County Sheriff’s Office currently monitors 12 people in the “Project Lifesaver” program. For more information about “Project Lifesaver” please call 908-273-1608.