Group reports uptick in missing persons

YORK–South Central Pennsylvania Search and Rescue officials are asking for the public’s help.

“We are seeing an influx in autistic missing persons cases,” according to a post on the group’s social media page.

“Right now our world is turned upside down. For those who have autism, this is a true culture shock to them as well. Routines are being changed, adjusting to ‘new normals’ is very different for these individuals. All of this compounded with frequent weather changes is becoming the perfect storm for our our autistic friends.”

Officials said those with dementia and special needs are also at risk.

“Please be mindful of this and keep an extra close eye on those in your care. Report any missing persons immediately and do not wait. Someone missing in 30-degree weather is an emergency.

“Involve the Police and where appropriate request that they involve Search and Rescue. Time is of the essence and the longer someone is missing the more difficult it is for us to find them and make a difference in bringing them home safe and sound.”

The team advises family members to keep a recent photo of loved ones handy, along with an emergency information card, description of what they are wearing, as well as bio information such as height, weight, eye color and hair color, or any distinguishing marks or tattoos, and a list of their medical conditions and any medications that they take.

“Having all of this in place will save precious time when police and SAR Responders arrive.,” officials said. “Be prepared in the event that something does go wrong. Help us help you.”