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Answers demanded after Chilliwack woman with dementia arrested, sparking family search

Last Updated Feb 5, 2020 at 6:43 am PDT

FILE (David Zura, CityNews photo)
Summary

B.C. Sheriff Service says it regrets distress caused after woman with dementia was apparently arrested

Woman was reportedly arrested at Chilliwack home, taken to court, left outside after closing while many searched for her

The woman's family is demanding answers, wonders why no one was notified she was picked up

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – A family is demanding answers after a woman with dementia was reportedly arrested at her home in Chilliwack, taken to court and left outside after closing, all while her husband and the RCMP mounted a frantic search effort.

Frank Woodrow says his wife Susan disappeared while he was in the shower on Jan. 22. She has a mild form of dementia and he tells the Chilliwack Progress he was worried she had wandered off.

After checking with family, neighbours and local businesses, Woodrow called the RCMP, which brought in Chilliwack Search and Rescue to assist.

At that point, Woodrow tells the paper he received a call from the BC Sheriff Service telling him he could pick up his wife at the courthouse.

She had apparently been arrested at home and taken in for an outstanding credit card debt. Woodrow says he hadn’t seen the paperwork and his wife wouldn’t remember it.

By the time Woodrow found her, he says his wife was standing outside the closed courthouse in a sweater and flip flops.

Woodrow says he is “floored” by the incident and that he won’t let it go until he finds out why there wasn’t any kind of notification that she had been picked up, not even a business card on the table or in the door.

In an emailed statement to the paper, the B.C. Sheriff Service says it is “looking into what happened and reviewing our processes.”

According to a spokesperson, “We want to make sure there is proper co-ordination between agencies and that we involve family where appropriate to support people‚Äôs well-being …

We sincerely regret the distress caused to this individual and her family.”