Missing woman's car located

Elizabeth Ferguson
Elizabeth Ferguson
The car was located shortly before 11am Tuesday.
The car was located shortly before 11am Tuesday.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Officials have located a car belonging to a missing Mid-South woman.

On a crisp and windy Tuesday morning, a Tennessee Wildlife officer came upon the object of a six month search: 86-year-old Elizabeth Ferguson's car.  The car, a 1993 Mercury Sable, was found on a dirt road in the remote woods of Ensley Bottom.

Chopper 5 was there even before Memphis police arrived, and when investigators learned Ferguson was not inside the car, a massive search began.  The car was located in an area so remote, searchers could only get there by foot.

Police sent up their chopper, while down below, a blood hound led the search with the Memphis Police Missing Person's Unit, homicide detectives, and Wild Life officers in tow.

At one point, a searcher opened the car's door and the high winds blew the evidence around. On top of the high winds, a light drizzle fell upon the scene.  Finally, investigators decided to move the car to a more secure place.

"We want to preserve what we have and in doing so, it's going to take us some time to get that car out," Memphis police spokesperson Monique Martin said.

The rough terrain surrounding the car - including cotton fields, farmland, and wooded areas - didn't help.

"We have to treat this as suspicious," Martin said. "We have a car.  We have a report of a missing person dated back to May of 2008."

A tow truck eventually hauled the Mercury Sable to the MPD's Crime Scene Processing Tunnel so investigators could get a more secure and closer look inside the vehicle.

Ferguson was last seen leaving her Berclair home in the car on May 5, 2008 on her way to a routine doctor's appointment.

Ferguson's daughter, Cheryl Feeney, said she suffered from high blood pressure, and was in the early stages of dementia.

"I was driving to my office in Seattle when the police called. They said they have some new developments. Her car had been found," Feeney said.

Cheryl Ferguson Feeney just left Memphis Sunday headed back to Seattle.  She had been in Memphis for the past 6 months searching for her mother.

"I just have to be here until I can find my Mom. That's all that is important. When I got the call the call today it was frustration I wasn't here," Feeney said.

Elizabeth Ferguson's purse was still in her car but her cash was missing.  Her daughter wants to get a look inside the car.

"Anything I might see that is out of the ordinary. What is in the car, what might be in the car that was not hers.  I know my mother very well. I know her clothing. I know what she wears," Feeney said.

One thing investigators will be looking at is whether Elizabeth Ferguson's car has been in the field the entire six months she has been missing.

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