Tracking technology helps loved ones disappear


Michigan (WLUC) – The search for two missing elderly women in Central UP continues. Their stories may have you wondering what you can do to keep your loved ones safe and prevent tragedy.

Helen Kontio, 65, was last seen in May in Palmer and Linda Golden, 77, went missing last week in Algiers County.

While the police ask you to be on the lookout for these two women with cognitive issues, the agencies also want to spread the word about ways to keep your at-risk family members safe.

A device that can help you is a small band that can go along the wrist or leg thanks to Project Life Tracker.

It sends out a radio signal that can be picked up by security officials in an emergency to help track the person wearing it.

“It’s designed for people with a tendency to wander, such as people with dementia or autism, and it’s available for all ages,” said Superior Search & Rescue President Darian Reed.

Radio signals are transmitted to the local sheriff’s office if a person is missing.

Houghton, Ontonagon, Keweenaw, Baraga, Gogebic and Iron counties have all implemented the life tracker program last fall.

“Most importantly, this is a free resource for our four-county area that we have. Contact the local sheriff’s office to try to get involved,” Reed said. “We always want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make this project bigger and better.”

Marquette County implemented Life Tracker in 2007 as one of its tools to assist search and rescue teams.

Marquette County currently has 26 people equipped with Life Tracker devices.

“Talking with parents or caregivers with dementia is peace of mind,” said Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt. “If they sneak out of the house, they take away his peace of mind that there’s a good chance we’ll get them back.”

Zyburt says the device has had a big impact on how quickly search and rescue teams are able to find a person.

“Two months ago, the perfect scenario, the caregiver called and someone from our search and rescue department who lives out west turned on his tracking device and it was already transmitting a signal,” Zyburt said. . “Within 8 minutes of turning on the device, we found this subject.”

To get a device for a loved one, contact the local sheriff’s office and ask for a rescue device.

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