WAUKESHA (WITI) -- As fresh snowfall made for a slow and potentially dangerous morning commute Tuesday, March 3rd, a Waukesha family faced an even bigger fear. Their 85-year-old loved one was missing. A Silver Alert was issued for Donald Petersen, and hours later, he was found safe.
The Silver Alert was issued by Town of Brookfield police. That's where Donald Petersen and his wife life. Petersen was found in Wauwatosa on Tuesday afternoon. He told his wife he had been on the road since 2:00 a.m.
Carolyn Petersen says her first thought when she woke up Tuesday morning was that she was feeling thankful that she and her husband didn't have to go out on the snowy roads. She soon sensed something wasn't right.
"All of a sudden I got up and went to his bedroom and the bed was made and he was nowhere around," Carolyn Petersen said.
To make matters worse, Donald Petersen's car was gone.
"It was snowing really heavy out and I was really concerned about him being in an accident or injuring someone or something happening," Carolyn Petersen said.
Carolyn Petersen says her husband hasn't driven in over a year -- ever since doctors told him he couldn't, as he was suffering from dementia. Carolyn Petersen says she immediately called police.
"They came and they were very, very helpful. They got a Silver Alert out and I just thought the more people that knew about this the more chance he had at being found," Carolyn Petersen said.
Even now that Donald is home safe, Carolyn says she's still on edge -- never having gone through anything like this before.
"He was driving around for hours and did not know where he was going," Carolyn Petersen said.
She says one thing that gives her peace of mind is knowing that there is help out there, and it works.
"I think if anybody is in this situation I certainly advise you to alert the authorities immediately. Don`t feel like 'well I`ll wait and see if he turns up.' Alert the authorizes and the Silver Alert is just wonderful," Carolyn Petersen said.
In issuing the Silver Alert, law enforcement officials said on Monday night, Donald Petersen was reportedly watching TV with his wife when he began talking about how he missed fishing at a lake on Highway 4 in Minnesota. Officials say when Petersen's wife woke up Tuesday morning, Petersen was gone along with his keys and vehicle.
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