A 76-year-old Barron woman is dead, after slipping out of the nursing home where she was living in the middle of the night into subzero temperatures.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says a search for Juanita Toews started after staff noticed she was missing from her room in the Alzheimer’s Care Unit at about 4:43 Wednesday morning. No alarms had triggered, so the search initially focused on the inside of the facility. Police moved outside after determining she left through a window in her room, which she had then shut behind her. A bracelet that was designed to trigger an alarm if she left the building had also been removed.
Toews was found at about 6:15 a.m. in a wooded area a short distance from the assisted living facility, lying in a creek bed with weak vital signs. The temperature at the time she was discovered was about 24 degrees below zero.
Toews was taken to a hospital in Barron, where she was later pronounced dead.