Vinton Nursing Home Resident Found Safe After Going Missing From Nursing Home

Searchers were led by cries for help to a 79-year-old dementia patient who had wandered from a Vinton nursing home on Sunday. According to police, the man had been missing from the facility for more than 32 hours. Elmer Felix Morton was found Monday about 2 p.m. in a wooded area, just a few blocks from Berkshire Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was last seen at the nursing home early Sunday.

A Virginia State Police helicopter and a search team of Roanoke County firefighters and medics, some off-duty, as well as a bloodhound had been looking for Morton. It was his cries, heard by a resident who alerted the search team, that led to Morton's rescue, Vinton police Capt. Ben Cook said.

Morton was located in an area so thick with briars and underbrush that a helicopter or search party likely wouldn't have seen him, Cook said. Police believe Morton had been in that spot since Sunday night. Morton was alert and talking, but scratched from likely spending the night in the thick woods. He was taken to a local hospital, Cook said. For more, read the story.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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