Missing North Kitsap woman found in neighbor's yard; condition 'satisfactory'

Elly Dehler of Driftwood Keys was found Saturday afternoon, sitting in a lawn chair in the yard of an unoccupied home. Her condition was
Elly Dehler of Driftwood Keys was found Saturday afternoon, sitting in a lawn chair in the yard of an unoccupied home. Her condition was 'satisfactory' and she was released into her own custody.
— image credit: Kitsap County Sheriff's Department

HANSVILLE -- A ground search for an 82-year-old Hansville woman ended shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday when she was found sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard of an unoccupied home in the Driftwood Keys neighborhood, about 400 yards from her own house.

Except for a slight drop in body temperature, Elly Regina Dehler’s condition was satisfactory, according to sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson. Dehler was examined by medics from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue and released into her own custody.

Dehler was observed sitting in the lawn chair by a neighbor who, aware of the ongoing search effort, contacted search and rescue personnel.

Dehler was spending the night at a neighbor’s home in the 38100 block of Brant Road NE, Hansville, Sept. 29-30, when she left the house without notifying her hosts.

A missing person complaint was filed just after 6 p.m. Friday by Dehler’s neighbors, when it was realized that Dehler’s whereabouts were unknown to anyone.

She was last seen at approximately 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies conducted an initial search of her residence and immediate surrounding properties. Deputies then initiated a search and rescue mission, assisted by Washington Explorer Search & Rescue of Kitsap County, All Breeds Canine Search and Rescue Group of Kitsap County, Washington Explorer Search & Rescue of Pierce County, and German Shepherd Search Dogs of Washington State. Dehler was entered as a missing person into the national crime information database Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Ground searchers began their search of the area around Driftwood Keys at approximately 9 p.m. Friday and searched until about 3 a.m. Saturday. The initial group of ground searchers and K-9 teams were relieved by additional SAR personnel after daybreak.

It was reported that Dehler had been acting despondent. Dehler told search and rescue personnel that she left her neighbor’s house and walked for many hours before deciding to rest in the backyard lawn armchairs. She wasn’t aware of the ongoing search for her, according to Wilson.

Dehler has no known family in the United States. Sheriff’s deputies have forwarded a copy of their reports to the state Department of Social and Health Services.

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