Updated:BURKE COUNTY, N.C.,None — A missing Burke County woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease might have been trying to get to Blowing Rock, Boone or the northwestern part of North Carolina.
That's according to authorities, who on Saturday said 68-year-old Betty Martha Triplett was last seen wearing a purple sweatsuit and walking in a westerly direction from the Dysartsville area. She was last seen around 9 a.m. on Friday walking from a home she shares with her daughter. Her family was asleep at the time.
Search and rescue teams from four counties have joined in the effort to find Triplett. The search is centered around the Dysartsville Road and Bee Tree Avenue area. Authorities described her as a white female, weighing 160 pounds, standing 5-foot-3 and having brown hair and hazel eyes.
"It is just overwhelming, really," Triplett's daughter, Dawn Nicole, said. "You had no idea that this many people could show up so fast."
Volunteer firefighter Bruce Byrd said he didn't think twice about helping.
"I'd want them do the same thing for me or a member of my family," he said. "(I'm) just helping out."
The North Carolina Highway Patrol joined the search, using a helicopter to look for Triplett from the air.
Concern is growing as nighttime nears and temperatures fall. Family members said Triplett was wearing only a purple sweatshirt and pants when they last saw her.
"When it gets down to freezing tonight, she's not equipped to be walking around in cold weather," EMS Manager Joseph Belanger said. "We're hoping to locate her nearby, but she's pretty mobile and we're looking at maybe a four- or five-mile distance she could have walked."
Anyone who has seen Triplett is asked to call the Burke County Sheriff's Office at 828-438-5500.