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Missing Norcross woman found safe in Habersham

65-year-old had been seen in Gainesville

POSTED: July 15, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Authorities in Habersham County have found a 65-year-old Norcross woman with undiagnosed dementia and memory loss who was reported missing by Gwinnett County police. She was unharmed and is back with her family.

Around 9 p.m. Thursday, Renee Antoinette Harris' dark blue Honda was spotted by an officer with the Baldwin Police Department, who then conducted a traffic stop to confirm it was Harris, according to Cpl. Illana T. Spellman with the Gwinnett County Police. Harris was unharmed and a family member was contacted to pick up Harris in Habersham County, Spellman said.

On Thursday, Gwinnett County Police had issued a Mattie’s Call for Harris, who was last seen in Gainesville early Thursday morning before being stopped in Habersham.

Harris had left Emory Eastside Medical Center at about 10 a.m. Wednesday to return to her Norcross home after visiting her husband.

Her husband, James Harris, who had surgery this week at the hospital, alerted Gwinnett County authorities after his wife called him later Wednesday and again Thursday morning reporting she was lost.

James Harris told authorities that his wife called him at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, saying that she was on Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville. Harris gave his wife directions to get to Interstate 85.

Hall County Sheriff’s Maj. Jeff Strickland said Renee Harris asked deputies for directions to an area hotel at about 1 a.m. Thursday and followed them to the Hampton Inn on Jesse Jewell Parkway, where she checked in. She checked out of the hotel at 8:25 a.m. Thursday, Strickland said.

James Harris told authorities his wife called him again, at about 9 a.m. Thursday, telling her husband that she was still lost and had stayed in a Hampton Inn overnight.

James Harris told authorities that his wife has undiagnosed dementia and memory loss.


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