Family pushes for Silver Alert legislation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Family pushes for Silver Alert legislation

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Amber Alerts help police find missing children.  Now, a Mid-South native wants law enforcement to begin issuing 'Silver Alerts' to help find missing senior citizens nationwide.

Cheryl Feeney's mother, Elizabeth Ferguson, went missing last summer after leaving her home for a doctor's appointment.  The elderly Ferguson never made it, and her car was found months later in a wooded area in southwest Memphis.

Cheryl, who now lives in Seattle, hopes her mother's story will touch the hearts of lawmakers.  Recently, she helped draft legislation to help endangered missing persons, which is on the verge of becoming law in the state of Washington.

"I don't know of any other way I could honor my mother better than try to get some legislation passed," she said.

Her efforts are starting to have an impact.  State Senator Diane Black said the story of Elizabeth Ferguson's disappearance is a great motivator for her to get the Silver Alert bill passed in Tennessee.

"It is a compelling story, and it energized me all the more that, yes, we must do something here in Tennessee," Black said.

State Senator Diane Black says Feeney's story motivates her all the more to get her Silver Alert Bill passed in Tennessee.

Feeney is confident a Silver Alert would have saved her mother's life.

"If the alert had been in place here the day she went missing...there's no doubt in my mind that she would be home today," she said. "My goal is to try and prevent anyone else from having to go through what my family went through."

Statistics show sixty percent of people with dementia will end up wandering away from home.  Eleven other states are currently considering legislation to implement Silver Alert-type plans.

Click here to send an email to Lori Brown.

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