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Missing St. Petersburg woman found driving on U.S. 19

ST. PETERSBURG — A flashing roadway sign led to the rescue of a missing 84-year-old woman with dementia Sunday morning.

Gisela Petrovic of St. Petersburg was found driving on U.S. 19 through Dunedin about 8:45 a.m. Another driver on the road, Martha Gruber, spotted Petrovic after seeing a sign alerting people to be on the lookout for the elderly woman who was last seen in her beige 2006 Toyota Corolla.

St. Petersburg police had issued a "Silver Alert" for Petrovic after she went missing from her home about 3:30 a.m. Police said she had dementia and high blood pressure and was recovering from a bad cold.

Gruber saw the Corolla southbound on U.S. 19 at Republic Drive. She immediately called deputies and continued to follow the vehicle, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Gruber followed Petrovic west on Main Street from U.S. 19 to Pinehurst Drive in Dunedin, where she turned right and went north to Michigan Drive. She then went west on Michigan Drive to Alt. U.S. 19 and turned left, heading south. Deputies stopped Petrovic a few blocks later on Alt. U.S. 19.

Authorities said Petrovic was in good health, but confused. She told deputies she was in Pennsylvania on her way to a doctor's appointment. Deputies contacted her family, who came to take her home.

Missing St. Petersburg woman found driving on U.S. 19 12/05/10 [Last modified: Sunday, December 5, 2010 1:12pm]
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