Missing Grandmother With Dementia Last Seen in Valley Springs Nearly a Week Ago

CALAVERAS COUNTY -- Kimberly Cassara's 87-year-old grandmother, Helen Joyce Coultrup, has not been seen or heard from since Saturday.

“We've looked at old houses that she used to live in,” Cassara explained Thursday.

Coultrup has dementia, although her family is not sure to what degree.

“So, she could've voluntarily just drove off and decided to go visit some girlfriends and didn't tell anybody,” said Calaveras County Sheriff Rick Dibasilio. "Is it unusual? Yes, but people do strange things. So, you never know."

A family member told FOX40 they first learned Coultrup had disappeared when her friends said she had not gone to church on Sunday.

Coultrup was last seen driving her 2010 silver-blue-colored Toyota Yaris with license plate 6WWY181 between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. She was at Mar-Val grocery store off highways 12 and 26 in Valley Springs.

Coultrup's family says the Toyota also has front-end damage and clear tape over one of the headlights.

“She left, we have no cell phone, no credit card use. We have no way to track her at this point, other than her vehicle,” Sheriff Dibasilio told FOX40. “Keep your eyes open. We have the vehicle description, we have the license plate out there."

Her family said it is the not knowing that is perhaps the most frightening.

“Desperation to find her,” Cassara said.

“Anytime you have an elder out there that is missing, you know, we've had some hot days, you don't know if she's able to get food, water. We don't know anything," Dibasilio said. "So it puts stress on the family and stress on the investigators because, not that all people aren't important, but elderly people seem to heighten things, kind of like children do. It makes everybody more concerned."

The sheriff says if you spot her or her car, dial 911.

“If you've seen her, just call us, let us know. We need to know where she's at,” her granddaughter said.

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