HAPPY ENDING: A missing Paramus woman with dementia was found safe and sound this morning, thanks to an alert citizen who spotted her at a River Edge bus stop after she’d gone missing last night from Bergen Town Center, Paramus Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said this afternoon.
Both Roberta Bruno, 73, and her miniature poodle were found in good condition when River Edge resident Marilyn Chambers called police around 8:10 a.m. after spotting them on Bogert Road, nearly two miles from the mall.
Bruno was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center to be evaluated, while her dog was transported to Oradell Animal Hospital.
Bruno had been shopping at the mall when a nurse’s aid lost her and her small dog, which she had in a handbag, around 6:15 p.m, Ehrenberg said.
“The nurses aid searched the area on her own, not reporting the incident until approximately 10:15 p.m.,” the chief said.
“The Paramus Police Department and Paramus Office of Emergency Management set up a command post at the shopping center and then, with assistance of the Paramus Fire Department, Paramus Rescue Squad and Paramus EMS began to search a wide area in the Route 4 corridor of Paramus, including parking lots wooded areas, streams and drainage ditches,” Ehrenberg said. “Security surveillance video showed the victim leaving the mall at approximately 6:45 p.m. then walking towards Route 4.”
Authorities weren’t sure whether Bruno had gotten on one of the many buses that serve the shopping center or was still in the area.
“Missing person alerts were sent to all New Jersey police departments, as well as Port Authority and New York police agencies,” the chief said. “All transportation companies in the area were also notified.
“Emergency services searched throughout the night and were assisted by a New Jersey State Police helicopter and units from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department and Bergen County Police Departments. A missing person’s alert was also placed on Nixle/Twitter messenger and Facebook,” he added.
The search included tracking dogs, as well.
All county facilities in Paramus were being checked — including Bergen Regional Medical Center, Bergen Community College and the parks, emergency workers said.
Ehrenberg said his department was still trying to determine where Bruno was during the time she was missing.