Safe Trak program helps those who wander

85-year-old's body found after she went missing Saturday

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - After the death of an elderly Fruit Cove woman who had Alzheimer's disease and was known to wander, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says it has a way to help find loved one if they go missing using a program called Safe Trak.

Twila Joyner, 85, went missing Saturday and her body was found in a pond Monday morning. Deputies said she drowned and her death was ruled accidental.

It's a scenario for those with Alzheimer's that happens far too often.

"It's for those individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, autism or dementia," Sgt. Catherine Payne said of Safe Trak.

Safe Trak is a tracking device worn on the wrist or ankle that allows deputies to track a person within a two-mile radius.

"Once we receive the call as law enforcement that the individual has wandered off or disappeared, we immediately, with trained personnel, respond to the area with the tracking equipment," Payne said.

Here's how Safe Trak works. Deputies will respond to the last place the person was seen and then will activate the tracker.

"All along, the signal is getting stronger and the audible is also getting stronger, and the closer you get, the louder it gets until you find the person that is wearing the device," Payne said.

To participate in the program, the person must have a condition that causes wandering. Initial cost for the transmitter is $250. The Sheriff's Office will help introduce the tracker to the loved one if needed.

"Our victim advocates are trained to go in and talk to the individuals that are actually wearing the device to make sure to make them understand and aware of what the device is," Payne said.

If you want your loved one in the Safe Trak program, click here.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.