Welwyn Garden City missing pensioner: ‘thanks for finding my mum’

THE daughter of a pensioner who sparked a massive manhunt after going missing from a care home has praised the public for coming out to help in the search.

Nicky Hornsey said she and her family were touched by the amount of love and care shown by “complete strangers” in WGC.

Peggy Ruddock went missing from Elizabeth House at about 3pm on Wednesday last week.

The 81-year-old has Alzheimer’s and police, concerned for her welfare, scrambled the force helicopter, even broadcasting Peggy’s description over the aircraft’s public address system.

Officers and care home staff weren’t alone in the search for Peggy, either, as dozens of residents helped scour the area thoughout the night.

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People even took to Facebook and Twitter to raise the alarm.

The great-grandmother was eventually found, at around 9am the next morning, in a boiler room within the care home’s grounds.

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After her mother had been located safe and well, Nicky contacted the WHT to say thanks to the “wonderful people” who took part in the search.

The 54-year-old said: “I can’t believe there was so much love about last night.

“Complete strangers were driving around and coming back asking if she’d been found, then going back out again.

“It was just surreal, but it was amazing. People do still care in this country. It was a complete cross-section of the community, too, as many young children as there were adults.”

She added: “To the people who gave up their time to look for an old lady they didn’t know, thank you very much.”

Nicky, who lives in Hatfield, also praised the police and care home staff, who had been “superb” in the search for Peggy.

Reg Bek, chief executive of WGC Housing Association, which runs the care home in Elizabeth Close, also praised residents.

“The public response was overwhelming and it was heart-warming that so many people gave their time and effort. It was quite humbling. I live in WGC and I was proud to live in WGC today.”

Mr Bek added the incident had led to an immediate review of procedures at the home.

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