DRAPER (ABC4 News) – The men and women of Utah law enforcement rely on alert citizens to be the eyes and ears of their communities.
Officers say noticing something out of the ordinary can possibly solve a crime and as was the case recently in Draper, it could save a life.
On Sunday, October 4th, a 67-year old woman with dementia walked away from her assisted living center and was reported missing around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Shortly after that, Megan Pace and her daughter Shianne saw her while driving on Traverse Ridge Road. After visiting some friends, they spotted the woman again three hours later, now two and a half miles west on 146th South in Bluffdale.
“I knew something wasn’t right,” Pace told Behind The Badge. “I got this really big prompting to go ask her if she needs a ride.”
Pace turned her car around and offered a ride. The woman, exhausted and dehydrated, gladly accepted.
“I asked her her address ‘Where can I take you?’ and she couldn’t answer that,” Pace said.
Pace called the police and a dispatcher told her that Draper PD and Fire crews had been frantically searching for the woman all afternoon.
“Things could have been different had they not intervened and not helped us out there could have been a different outcome,” Draper Police Chief John Eining said. “It says a lot about Megan to understand that she’s getting some type of prompting and that she acts on it.”
Chief Eining presented Megan and Shianne with a gift basket and some gift cards Tuesday morning.
“On behalf of the Draper Police Department and Draper City we would like to recognize them today,” Chief Eining said. “And we got them a little gift we’d like to give to them.”
Megan says she doesn’t deserve the gifts or the TV cameras. She just did what she hopes someone would do for a member of her family.
“I’m not a hero. I just acted as an instrument in a situation that really needed some attention and I’m just glad I was able to do that,” she said. “I’m just so humbled that I could be that little caretaker to her in her time of need.”
That woman was safely returned to her assisted living center…and this isn’t the first time that Megan has saved someone. As a high school student, she once successfully performed the Heimlich Maneuver on a friend who was choking.