MORE than 60 police officers were last night still searching for a lightly-clothed 84-year-old woman who went missing from a care home in icy temperatures.
Monica Dixon, who has mild dementia, vanished from Abbeyfield Care Home in Corbridge after Sunday lunch.
The 5ft 1in grandmother had no coat and was wearing only a jumper, but helicopters and a major search squad failed to find her.
Police trawled the River Tyne 100 yards away from the care home as teams of officers made door-to-door inquiries, checking empty buildings and placing posters on shop windows in the village.
Mrs Dixon’s 92-year-old husband, who lives in Corbridge, her five children and 10 grandchildren, spent the day anxiously waiting for news.
The search also extended to Benton, Newcastle, where Mrs Dixon formerly lived and worked, as well as Allendale, south Northumberland, where there are more family connections.
There are also relatives in Norway and one daughter yesterday cut short her holiday abroad to return to the North East. Supt Mick Paterson of Northumbria Police said: “We have checked CCTV in the village and seen one image of Mrs Dixon very close to Abbeyfield Care Home.
“It is clear that she left the home alone, and we know she had her Sunday lunch with others and was absolutely fine before walking outside.
“She is a very independent lady but does suffer from very mild dementia, and has left the home once or twice in recent weeks before being found around the Hill Street area in Corbridge.
“We are sure that she did not have a coat on and are aware that she may have boarded a bus as there is a bus stop immediately outside the home, with a number of hail-and-ride services. She used to work at the Ministry in Newcastle and we are also working on the possible theory that in her state of mind she may have travelled there, seeking out old places that she would know.
“But the search is principally being centred in and around Corbridge.”