Emily Moore, a hospice nurse in Chillicothe, Oklahoma, was out in the neighborhood completing some paperwork when she noticed a woman who looked oddly familiar. She thought about where she might’ve seen this woman before recognizing her from a local missing person’s case.
The trouble started late last month when a car pulled into a gas station on U.S. 23. The owners of the store called the police when the car was still there two days later. The officers ran the plates and linked the vehicle to a missing woman from Owasso, OK believed to be in danger.
Security footage from the gas station shows the woman getting out of the car the day the vehicle appeared and walking south, but the authorities lost the trail. They searched the area on foot and via drone to locate the woman but they only found what appeared to be her jacket and gloves along with a female-sized footprint. The police then posted pictures of the woman on Facebook and asked the public to be on the lookout for her.
Moore saw the posts online a few days before she spotted the woman in real life. She called the police and started following the woman from a safe distance.
“I circled the block, I think, three or four times, and [the police] were already there,” Moore said. “I just kind of followed her where she was walking, and they were there very, very quickly.”
The police called her later that day to tell her the woman she saw was indeed the missing woman.
“It was an emotional overload,” she said. “I immediately began sobbing. Of course, chills all over my body. I just couldn’t believe it. I thought for sure when it was him calling me that he was going to say, thank you for calling, it didn’t end up being her, if you see anything else, give us a call.”
Moore said the experience taught her to be vigilant and alert on the job.
“That’s what we’re supposed to do as people and as human beings, I mean, that’s the kind of basic thing that we’re taught in life is to look out for each other and care for each other, whether you know them or not,” she said. “I mean, that’s just what we should be doing.”
The authorities confirmed that the woman is now safe and at home with her family. They are not releasing her name for privacy reasons. It’s still not clear how she went missing or what happened to her while she was away from home.
Prosecutor Davis of the Piketon Police Department said a lot of effort went into the search, which included dozens of volunteers and a large canvassing campaign. He is relieved the search is over and thanked Moore for her role in the investigation.
“We cannot thank Ms. Moore enough for remaining vigilant and calling law enforcement. We also cannot thank the public enough for all the social media shares,” Davis said.
He added that a large multi-department investigation was planned for this week, but it has since been called off.
“I want to point out a certain investigator with my office (who refuses to be recognized by name) for taking this case by the horns and running with it. This Investigator brought all of these agencies together. This investigation has involved several hundred man hours involving multiple agencies all working together,” said the Pike County prosecutor, “This was truly a collaborative effort and is proof of what happens when we all work together for the common good!”