MILBRIDGE — An 83-year-old Milbridge woman was found safe Wednesday evening after being reported missing earlier in the day.
Suzanne Hubbell was reported missing to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department when a caretaker arrived at her home to pick her up to give her a ride and discovered she wasn’t home.
A search effort was immediately initiated by the Maine Warden Service, Milbridge Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Department and Maine Marine Patrol.
A dog was brought in to search the area after a passer-by reported seeing Hubbell with her dog near her residence about 8 a.m. The dog, however, was unable to indicate a direction of travel.
A Maine Warden Service aircraft and Maine Army Guard helicopter with an infrared camera joined in the search effort by late afternoon. Visibility from the air was poor due to the thick vegetation and leaf cover of the woods in the search area.
As evening approached, media outlets were notified in an effort to identify additional witnesses who may have seen Hubbell walking in the area surrounding her home.
Additionally, the Maine Association of Search and Rescue was alerted and search units from Dirigo Search and Rescue, MDI Search and Rescue and Maine Search and Rescue dogs arrived and joined the search effort. Volunteers from these groups as well as locals from Hubbell’s neighborhood assisted by searching the roadways and woods in the area.
Maine Warden Service Incident Command Team members systematically deployed groups in the search area to maximize the search effort.
At approximately 11:15 p.m., Debbie Palman, her black Lab Raven and their flanker, William Nichols, found Hubbell after following a disturbed area in the vegetation in the woods. She was located approximately one-half mile in the woods from the nearest road.
Hubbell was located alive, but was wet from the earlier rain showers in the area. Multiple searchers and agency personnel assisted in carrying her out to a waiting ambulance. She was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.