Sanitation inspector finds missing woman, 84, wandering the streets and helps her home

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Desmond McNamee found the woman and helped her get home safely. (DSNY)

OAKWOOD, Staten Island — A sanitation inspector out on patrol for illegal dumping found something else early Friday: an 84-year-old woman with dementia wandering the streets.

Desmond McNamee was in Oakwood around 12:30 a.m. when he heard a police report about a missing woman, a Sanitation Department spokesman said. She had last been seen Thursday morning at 11 a.m. in New Dorp.

McNamee jotted down some notes about the woman and continued his rounds until around 1:15 a.m., a sanitation official said. He was heading home on Hylan Boulevard when he noticed a woman in a blue bathrobe limping down the street.

He made a quick U-turn to check on the woman, officials said. She couldn’t provide any information about herself. McNamee helped her into the back of his car so she could stay warm and called police.

Officers picked her up around 2 a.m. and returned her to her family.

The Sanitation Department logged the incident as an an “act of heroism.”

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