Carmon Edwards, 53, disappeared in Bloomington, Illinois, on Christmas morning. Her disappearance was widely publicized by both news media and social media.
According to her family and police, Edwards had been recently suffering from a “recent cognitive decline” meaning there was a high likelihood she had gotten lost on her way to visit family.
After two nights spent missing, Edwards was finally found in the care of a kind stranger who had let her stay at his home until he figured out her backstory.
Edwards was driving west from Bloomington to visit family in the nearby towns of Pekin and Washington but made a wrong turn and wound up 80 miles southeast in Mattoon.
Police in Mattoon found her car along a residential street near the middle of the city, but the car showed no signs of foul play. Authorities searched the area thinking she took off on foot in the freezing temperatures.
As it turns out, she was staying at the home of a local man who saw her walking the streets of Mattoon in a confused state. Noticing that something was wrong, he asked her a variety of questions, but she couldn’t explain what brought her to Mattoon.
Since it was so cold, the man invited her to stay at his house where she remained until Wednesday morning.
Police are not disclosing all aspects of the investigation, such as why the stranger did not immediately contact police, but they do not suspect any ulterior motive.
“He wasn’t a creepy guy,” said Detective Jeff Engle. “There aren’t many good Samaritans like that. It gives you faith in humanity when someone would take you in when it’s zero degrees out. We need more people like that.”
On Wednesday morning, the man saw a news report about a missing Bloomington woman and realized that she was that missing woman. He then drove her to the nearest police station where she was soon reunited with her relieved family.
“It was a great relief,” said Engle. “It could have ended in the worst way, but we got the best way. It was awesome.”
“We are so relieved that she is safe and sound,” said Edwards’ daughter, Lindsay. “We will forever be grateful to the gentleman that found her and made sure she was safe and out of the cold.”
The good Samaritan wishes to remain anonymous and for police to not release his name. “He doesn’t want any limelight,” said Engle.