RIVERDALE, the Bronx (PIX11) — A Bronx grandmother with dementia is back home after she was found by a social worker shivering and “soaking wet” at a bus stop late Tuesday, her daughter said, calling the return a “miracle.”
Milagros Santos, 75, had previously been seen leaving a Key Food supermarket on 256th Street in Riverdale just after noon Tuesday. Santos, who had left her cellphone at home, had used her granddaughter’s credit card to make a purchase.
An NYPD K9 unit tracked Santos’ scent to an area bus stop, where one of her daughters believed that she’d tried to catch a bus to a family apartment in Washington Heights.
But it turned out that Santos had taken an express bus to Manhattan’s East Side, where she was caught in Tuesday evening’s pouring rain.
“She was soaking wet and freezing,” daughter Josie Santos told PIX11 News on Wednesday morning. “She fell and hurt her lip and scraped her legs.”
But a kind stranger helped the grandmother get back to her family, Josie Santos said.
“A social worker saw her and noticed she was cold and disoriented. She called the police, and then they noticed it was a Silver Alert,” Josie Santos said, using the term for a missing persons case typically involving a person of advanced age.
“A miracle,” said Josie Santos of her mother’s return. “She was all the way on the East Side.”
Josie Santos said the social worker stayed with her mother, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who only speaks Spanish, until an ambulance arrived.
Milagros Santos was later reunited with family at the 17th Precinct in Manhattan.
“All is well,” Josie Santos said.