An elderly woman who was reported missing Monday was found safe in a wooded area in southwestern Pike County around noon Tuesday, authorities reported.

A nephew of 86-year-old Annie Mae Gallager found her in some woods near where a search dog team had picked up her scent, Pike County Chief Investigator Chris Bell said.

Gallager was reported missing from her daughter’s home on J.J. Carter Road after she had been seen walking near a tree line Monday afternoon. The Mississippi Bureau of investigation issued a Silver Alert for her Monday night.

Bell said Gallager was found sitting in some woods off Lazy Heifer Road, just east of J.J. Carter Road.

“She got a good little piece off in the woods,” Bell said. “She’s safe. She’s back with family.”

Gallager was in good condition but in need of food and water, Bell said, adding that paramedics took her to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center for observation.

Her discovery brought relief to relatives and neighbors, as well as about two dozen first responders who had been looking for Gallager since Monday evening.

Lawmen, firefighters and search dog teams converged on J.J. Carter Road in southwestern Pike County on Tuesday morning to resume the search for her.

Authorities huddled around a flatbed pickup truck at a makeshift command center across the street from her daughter Cynthia’s house Monday night and Tuesday morning.  

Officials from the Pike County Sheriff’s Department; Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; various fire departments and the Southwest Mississippi K-9 search dog team took part in the effort. Another search dog team from the Washington Parish, La., Sheriff’s Department arrived at the scene late Tuesday morning.

Officials deployed drones, walked the woods, scouted the roadside from four-wheelers and side-by-sides and went door to door in the search effort.

“I really want to give a shout-out to these volunteer firefighters, civil defense. We had a dog team from Louisiana. They helped us out a lot these past couple of days,” Bell said.

A search dog picked up a scent Monday and led searchers to a wooded area, where it appeared she could have possibly gotten into a vehicle, according to officials at the scene.

As more and more searchers met at the scene, neighbors walked up to find out the status of the quest. Some were decked out in camouflage, riding four-wheelers and carrying machetes.

Officials said Gallager was active and kept a meticulous garden, but she also suffered from heart problems, adding to their concern for her health and safety.

Bell said search dogs tracked her to Lazy Heifer Road, and her nephew, who was familiar with the area, went to some woods where he thought she might be.

“She went off in the woods and stayed there until somebody found her,” he said. “She was just waiting there.

“I’m just glad it all worked out.”

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