Silver Alert sign on Valley freeways contribute to missing woman being found

TEMPE, AZ - A 72-year-old Mesa woman is recovering at home after she became lost for several hours.

Early Wednesday morning, the Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert for Carol Fajardo who was last seen in the area of Country Club Drive and McKellips Street the night before.

Officials became worried about her safety and wellbeing and issued the Silver Alert.

DPS activated overhead signs on the freeway encouraging drivers to keep an eye out for the woman’s car.

Around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday a person reported seeing the woman’s red Toyota Yaris in the area of Interstate 10 and 7th Avenue, a DPS spokesperson said.

Carol was later located uninjured in Tempe after a DPS trooper stopped her car on State Route 202 and Priest Drive.

She told authorities that she was attempting to go to Defalco's Italian Deli in south Scottsdale and became disoriented; unfortunately, she never made it.

"It was very frightening; very scary," Steven Fajardo, Carol's son explained. "I just couldn't rest just waiting to find out if she was OK."

The overhead signs on the freeway, coupled with the multiple people who reported seeing her car, contributed to her successfully being found.

Carol explained she's grateful for the people who called DPS.

First of all, I was kind of upset I caused all this problem...but at the same time I'm so grateful that there are so many caring people," Carol said. "Police officers and everyone, oh thank you so much. They'll never know how much it means to me — it's something you never forget."

Since the Silver Alert launched in 2014, DPS has issued 230 reports. 

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