Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Missing woman seen twice, but search goes on

RUSKIN — They think they can find her.

Two sightings of Enid Grace Hendricks kept deputies optimistic Thursday that they could find the missing 75-year-old, even though she's having early symptoms of dementia and is unfamiliar with southeastern Hillsborough County.

As deputies intensified their search Thursday for Hendricks, who goes by Grace, her distraught family pleaded for her safe return.

"Please, please, Grace," said her husband, Robert, his voice shaking during a morning news conference. "Please come home."

The couple arrived in Ruskin from England late Tuesday night, and stayed with their niece, Johannie Stanley, at her home in the stuccoed RiverBend subdivision. They planned to spend three weeks in Florida visiting Stanley's mother, who is in a nursing home.

She was reported missing at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, though the family believes she left the house about 5:30 a.m. Stanley told investigators that's when she remembered hearing a door open.

She checked on her children but didn't think to peek in on her aunt and uncle.

Nearly six hours later, a man came across Hendricks in a tomato field about 2 miles north of Stanley's home at 2513 Yukon Cliff Drive, said Hillsborough sheriff's Maj. John Marsicano.

The man, referred to only as a citizen, described Hendricks exactly as her family had. Wearing her nightgown and a light-colored housecoat, she had on slippers and a short auburn wig. At 5 feet 4, she is described as slender and has a thick Jamaican accent. She and her husband are originally from Jamaica.

The man offered to help her, but she declined and kept saying that she had to get back to a particular street. He watched her wander away, Marsicano said.

Four hours later, another resident spotted Hendricks at Sun Point Plaza, a shopping center about a half-mile south of the tomato field. She has not been seen since then.

Marsicano said divers surfaced empty-handed Wednesday after searching a large pond behind Stanley's home. A day later crews continued to comb wooded areas near the subdivision and planned to expand their search to the north.

"She's in good physical health," Marsicano said. "And because she is moving, that means she's still capable of walking. We know she's somewhere."

Chandra Broadwater can be reached at cbroadwater@sptimes.com, or 661-2454.

Fast Facts

How to help

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with any information on Enid Grace Hendricks to call (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Missing woman seen twice, but search goes on 03/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa driver dies after swerving off Interstate 4 into canal

    Accidents

    PLANT CITY — A Tampa driver swerved off Interstate 4 Wednesday morning, plunging into a canal in a fatal crash, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

  2. Editorial: Scott should keep demanding better for seniors in nursing homes

    Editorials

    The horrific story of elderly Floridians dying from the heat in a Broward County nursing home after surviving Hurricane Irma grows more outrageous. Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott's move to prevent it from accepting new …

    Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s move to prevent it from accepting new patients or Medicaid payments.
  3. DCF announces $133 million in federal aid for low-income families who lost food during Irma

    Hurricanes

    An additional $133 million is being distributed to Florida low-income families to help replace food destroyed by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Department of Children and Families announced today.

    The United States Department of Agriculture has made $133 million available to Florida low-income families to help them replace food damaged during Hurricane Irma
  4. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  5. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.