Vernon County Sheriff’s Office uses technology to locate missing La Farge resident after Silver Alert issued

VIROQUA, Wis. – Late Sunday night the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the family of 78-year-old Maureen Mahoney of La Farge. Mahoney’s family had not been able to reach her for some time and were concerned about her safety. The Sheriff’s Office issued a statewide Silver Alert for Mahoney, and began a search for her whereabouts.

At the time of the alert, Mahoney had last been seen driving north on 4th Street, in the city of La Crosse, at about 5:39 p.m.

Vernon County Sheriff Roy Torgerson said his department was able to track Mahoney down with the use of technology. First, by tracking her debit card purchases they were able to determine Mahoney had made some purchases at a business in Camp Douglas. Torgerson said staff at that business where the purchases were made was not aware of the Silver Alert, but they did give Mahoney directions on how to get back to La Farge.

Torgerson said Mahoney’s vehicle was equipped with OnStar but it was not activated, but Torgerson said he was monitoring license plate readers and Mahoney’s license plate popped up on State Highway 16 near West Salem. Deputies were sent to the area immediately and Mahoney was located at Veteran’s Memorial Park in West Salem.

“We were able to get her reunited with her family in less than an hour,” said Torgerson. “Just a really good outcome to something that could have been really bad.”

Torgerson also expressed his gratitude to the state Department of Justice for helping issue the Silver Alert and for everyone who helped get the information out through social media.

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