Sheriffs use transmitter tech to find missing woman in Northampton


A developmentally disabled woman living in a Northampton group home disabled a door alarm and went missing Monday night, according to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office.

She might have stayed lost if she hadn’t been wearing a special bracelet that helped authorities locate her in the nearby woods and bring her to safety, the sheriffs said.

Sheriffs and Southampton Town police were called to the Aid to the Developmentally Disabled home on Lakeview Drive about 7 p.m. after a manager there found the 21-year-old woman was missing.

Police learned the resident had recently registered through the county’s Project Lifesaver program, an initiative to “help clients (and their families) who wander as a result of cognitive impairments, or other afflictions,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The program uses a unique transmitter bracelet for each client which can be activated to lead authorities to the missing person.

Using a hand-held receiver, Sgt. Douglas Forte and Deputy Sheriff Michael Brecht tracked the woman’s signal to a “heavily wooded” area nearby, according to a news release. After about 13 minutes of searching, the sheriffs found the woman about a half-mile into the woods and led her back to safety.

She was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center to be treated for minor cuts to her legs, feet and arms, according to the news release.