11/30/11 — Lost woman is located in Herman Park

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Lost woman is located in Herman Park

By Gary Popp
Published in News on November 30, 2011 1:46 PM

Officers with the Goldsboro Police Department located a woman Tuesday, less than 12 hours after she was reported missing.

Leslie Bobbie-Renee Watkins was found in Herman Park around 10:10 a.m. by authorities. She was reported missing by her caretaker, Vergil Beamon, minutes after midnight Tuesday morning.

The caretaker told police that Ms. Watkins, who suffers from a mental illness, walked away from the vehicle she was riding in around 6 p.m. Monday while in the parking lot of Wayne Pharmacy and Respiratory Home Care on Wayne Memorial Drive.

Ms. Beamon informed police that she was inside the pharmacy when Ms. Watkins walked off.

Because of Ms. Watkins' mental impairment, the state issued a Silver Alert.

A Silver Alert can be triggered when an elderly person or someone who suffers from a cognitive disorder is missing and considered endangered.

Goldsboro police Investigator Dwayne Bevell said locating Ms. Watkins was made easier largely due to A Child Is Missing, a nonprofit, national agency.

Bevell said he submitted information about Ms. Watkins' disappearance such as what she was wearing and where she was last seen. The agency then flooded the area with automated phone calls.

He said A Child Is Missing can generate 1,000 alert calls in a single minute to phone numbers of businesses and homes in a specific area.

The investigator also provided his phone number so if someone recognized Ms. Watkins he could be notified.

Bevell said he received a phone call within seven minutes of A Child Is Missing making the mass calls.

"I received a total of three calls of people who had seen a person matching her description," Bevell said. "One of those calls led us to her."

He said Ms. Watkins was returned to her caretaker, put back on her medication and is now safe at her home.