Make us your home page

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, 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

  1. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts


    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.

  2. Editorial: Floridians' health care now at risk in Washington


    The health care for millions of Floridians is now at risk. The U.S. Senate's dramatic vote Tuesday to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with no idea what will happen is a dangerous gamble with American lives and the national economy. Barring an unexpected bipartisan compromise, a handful of …

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dramatically returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer was diagnosed and cast the key vote that enabled Vice President Mike Pence to break the 50-50 tie and allow the health care debate to proceed.
  3. Former Marine from Florida dies fighting for Kurdish militia

    ORLANDO — A former Marine who secretly traveled to Syria earlier this year to battle the Islamic State was killed while fighting for a Kurdish militia, his father said Tuesday.

  4. Ratings service Nielsen begins tracking live TV consumption on Hulu, YouTube


    TV ratings service Nielsen will begin tracking how many people watch network TV on YouTube and Hulu to gauge how many viewers broadcast networks have through streaming, the company announced Tuesday.

    Nielsen, a ratings company, is monitoring how many viewers watch live TV on Hulu and YouTube to get a better sense of overall viewership. | [AP]
  5. FWC investigates viral video of shark getting dragged behind speeding boat (w/video)


    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]