Family holding onto hope of finding missing Cumberland woman alive
Posted February 1, 2021 5:46 p.m. EST
Updated February 1, 2021 8:45 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — A Cumberland County woman with medical issues has been missing for more than three weeks, but her family isn't giving up hope that she will be found alive.
Priscilla Sands, 56, was last seen on Jan. 7 leaving her home on Charles Avenue in the Eureka Springs community outside of Fayetteville.
"I did a Silver Alert, and they came out here with the dogs and everything, and they had chased her scent to try and find out which way she went," Shelton Blige, Sands' son, said Monday. "After that, we've been getting billboards and posters out to get her face out there to try and get her face known.
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office has Sands' picture rotating on eight electronic billboards across the county.
"She literally left her house with a light trench coat. You know as well as I do, it is very cold being out in the elements. She is familiar with being out in the elements, though," sheriff's office spokeswoman Sgt. Patrice Bogatry said. "We are worried she might be someplace, and she doesn't know her phone number, so she can't call anybody to tell them where she's at."
Sands has dementia and requires medication, according to her family. Blige said she has wandered off before and often ends up at a couple of locations the family is familiar with, such as a Food Lion on McArthur Road or sitting on a bench at the Transit Mall on Russell Street. Daily searches of those areas have come up empty, however.
Another location Sands often went to was the main library on Maiden Lane. But the library has been closed to visitors during the pandemic, and relatives and authorities fear she went there and then wandered off once she couldn't get inside.
"It's just a sit-and-wait game, and I'm trying to be optimistic, just trying to keep a cool head," Blige said.