Osceola, Ind. A 91-year-old woman was found alive in a St. Joseph County cornfield after police and volunteers spent all day Thursday searching for her.
Nandies Tavenier had been missing since 2 a.m. Thursday morning. She walked away from Dolly's House, a group home on Ireland Road in Osceola where she lived.
Around 10 a.m., police were called to the scene to help find her. When they arrived, they searched the area on foot, but quickly realized they'd need additional help. So, they called in several K9 units and brought in the Sheriff's Posse to search on horseback. They also used ATVs to navigate through cornfields while an Indiana State Police plane searched from overhead.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff also reached out to A Child is Missing, a Florida-based group that helps put out phone calls to the area when a person goes missing. Sheriff Michael Grzegorek says the organization was able to make calls to homes within an 8-mile radius of where Tavenier went missing.
"We had a lot of residents come out once a phone call went out from A Child is Missing that started coming by, offering assistance," he said. "It really was a community effort so many people come out, cared and wanted to help."
Neighbors searched on foot and on horseback. Few of them actually knew Tavenier, but felt compelled to help.
"I feel awful for the family," said Maddie Hamman, who lives nearby. "I would never want to have to go through it and I really want to help find her."
Police planned to call the search off for the night once the sun went down. But, just before they did, three officers on horseback decided to check one last field off Jackson Rd., directly south of the Dolly's House care facility.
That's when they came across a footprint around 9 p.m.
"One of our officers got on foot, decided to dismount and walk through the corn a bit and found her standing," Grzegorek said. "And, she was able to walk on foot supported. She was very confused, obviously a little dehydrated, but blood pressure looks good."
Tavenier was transported by ambulance to a St. Joseph County hospital, where her family was waiting, to get checked out.
Police say her injuries didn't appear life-threatening.
"Great shape, fantastic shape," Grzegorek said. "I would have not anticipated her being in that good of shape being gone this long."