May 27—The search continues for a Kokomo woman whom police say disappeared early Thursday morning from her home on the county's northeast side.
Betty Stroup, 80, was reported missing from her residence in the 2300 block of North 100 East shortly before 4 a.m. Thursday, and authorities stated that initial ground and aerial searches have so far produced no leads, according to a Howard County Sheriff's Office media release.
A verified tip was later received which noted that Stroup, who has advanced dementia and was reportedly wearing burgundy pajamas with heart shapes on them when she disappeared, was last seen around 2 a.m. Thursday walking west on Morgan Street approaching Indiana 931, per the release.
Ground crews — made up of civilians and HCSO deputies — continued to follow up on tips throughout the day Thursday and well into the evening, the release indicated.
Several of those tips reportedly placed Stroup in the area of Studebaker Park as late as Thursday afternoon, Stroup's granddaughter, Sunny McClurg, said, though that particular eyewitness account has not yet been verified.
Due to her medical condition, McClurg said Stroup's short-term memory is strained, though her long-term memory is relatively strong.
"So she does know who she is, but she may tell you she lives where she lived 30 years ago," McClurg said, adding that they have focused a great deal of their search on the city's northside because that's where Stroup grew up.
And a bloodhound from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office did track Stroup's scent from her house to the area of the post office in downtown Kokomo on Thursday, but that scent was eventually lost near Palmer's Jewelry, McClurg noted.
McClurg also said that Stroup left without a coat, and she has no identification, money or medications on her.
It's also likely her dog, Cookie, was with her when she disappeared.
"Cookie never leaves her side," McClurg said, referring to the 2-pound Shih Tzu-Yorkie mix. "... So I feel like it's hard to not notice a woman in pajamas carrying a dog."
Police are now asking anyone with surveillance video systems to check those systems for any sightings of Stroup, and anyone with additional information is asked to contact the HCSO at 765-457-1105.
If you see Stroup, you are asked to contact 911 immediately.
"She's friendly, and she will talk to you," McClurg said. "She'd be more than happy to have a conversation with you if you'd sit and talk to her while you wait for authorities to arrive. She loves to talk to people. It doesn't matter who you are."
Stroup is described as a white female, approximately 5-feet-2-inches tall, with green eyes and white hair, which McClurg said is almost always in a ponytail.