By Katina Caraganis
ASHBY -- Police Chief Ed Drew is crediting the use of Facebook for connecting a lost and disoriented woman with her family over the weekend.
Officers posted a picture of the missing woman, along with a description of what she was wearing, and within 14 hours, she had been identified.
The woman, who has not been named publicly by police because of privacy issues, was found on Fitchburg State Road at the 31 Store in Ashby on Friday about 6 p.m.
The woman, who is between 50 and 60 and from Townsend, is just over 5 feet tall with gray hair. When she was found, she was wearing glasses, an "Anytime Fitness" T-shirt and jeans. Also, she was found wearing white New Balance sneakers and a red sweatshirt, with a gold ring on her right hand.
She did not have identification on her and did not know her name, address, or any other information about herself.
"I think, from the perspective of Ashby police, we want all of our citizens and people who may travel through Ashby, if they have a family member who has an occasion to wander or issues with disorientation, they should take necessary precautions," he said.
That includes giving them identification tags and filing important information about loved ones, including photographs, with police departments.
"All of that information should be filed so the local police departments can access the information quicker for easier identification," Drew said.
The Ashby Police Department's Facebook page was launched late this summer, and Drew believes it will continue to be a good resource.
"It's a good tool," he said. "We can thank the fact that people do look at Facebook and recognized her and called us."
Officer Derek Pepple, who is responsible for updating the Facebook page, said he posted the woman's photo around midnight Friday after returning from the hospital.
Pepple said one of the woman's neighbors called police after seeing the picture and was positive of her identity.
"I'm not really sure what happened with her and what she was treated for," Pepple said. "I do know they ran a bunch of tests on her. At the hospital, she said the only thing she remembered was seeing a sign for Route 119."
Where she was found in Ashby is about 6 miles from Townsend, Pepple said. He said she had apparently walked to Ashby.