LAKE CITY, Fla. – It's been five days since a 61-year-old Columbia County woman with dementia went missing from her home.
A massive search for Mary Robertson turned up empty last week and was scaled back on Saturday.
Robertson's husband, Sam Robertson, said he's leaning on his faith in this time of uncertainty and asked the public to take a second look at the picture of his wife. He's doing everything he can to remain hopeful that she will be found alive.
An emotional Sam Robertson said that the past five days without his wife have been agonizing, not knowing if she is alive and needs help or if she's gone on -- as her husband says -- to be with God.
Deputies are still actively trying to locate Mary Robertson, who slipped away from her husband in their home Wednesday morning. He said he looked for her and enlisted the help of some neighbors and then called police when she could not be found.
The initial search included bloodhounds, airplanes with heat-seeking technology, ATVs and volunteers.
Robertson, who requires medication and is considered endangered, was last seen in the area of SW Barwick Terrace and SW Parker Lane in Lake City. She was wearing a blue shirt, denim pants and dark-blue flat shoes and is described as being 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing 96 pounds. She has blue eyes and short dirty blond hair with a touch of gray.
Sam Robertson said if someone did pick her up off the street, he doesn't understand why they wouldn't recognize her disability and get her medical help. Hundreds of volunteers combed the woods for Robertson for several days, including neighbor Laura Waters.
"We were hoping the first day that we would find her, but we just don't know," Waters said.
Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said two people called in claiming they saw Mary Robertson – one in Gainesville and one in South Georgia -- but detectives following up on both leads didn't find any concrete evidence that she had ever been there.
The sheriff and the search teams hoped they'd find Mary Robertson by Mother's Day. She and Sam Robertson have three children together.
"I know we checked 800 homes in that 1-mile area. We had canines from our agency and other areas," Hunter said. "It's very emotional. When you have someone with something debilitating and they are not home with their loved ones, yes it's very difficult."
Neighbors are trying to stay optimistic as each day passes with no new clues.
"I don't know anymore," Waters said. "I'm praying to the Lord that she is (alive) and that they will find her, but with this amount of time and the heat, I'm scared she might not be, but I'm praying that she will be found alive."
Police ask the public to be on the lookout for Mary Robertson and to notify CCSO with any information. The dedicated tip line is 386-984-2871 or Crime Stoppers of Columbia County at 386-754-7099.