Missing elderly woman found in fire ant nest

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - After a two-day search, two Kershaw County firefighters found an 87-year-old woman who went missing Friday.

Mary Myers Clark is fighting for her life. Clark went missing near her Cassatt home Friday. On Sunday, two firefighters, part of a team of searchers found her. Sheriff Jim Matthews said Clark was lying face down in a fire ant pile.

"They got her, tried to brush off ants best they could," said Sheriff Jim Matthews. "They got her into an ambulance then I think the decision was made to get her over to Richland Memorial Hospital."

She was labeled critical. Her daughter says she has epilepsy, but is on medication. She's not surprised her mom took off down the street, but she is surprised she didn't come back.

"Her exercise is walking down the road and picking up aluminum cans," said Mary Clark.

The sheriff doesn't know how long Clark was walking or how long she was on the ground. He calls the search successful, saying that finding Clark is what they were after, just not like this.

"It's a good news story because she was found," said Matthews. "Bad news is she was severely dehydrated and by one account, she suffered from thousands of fire ant bites."

Sheriff Matthews wanted to thank the local crews and volunteers who helped in the search. "Our community rallies around each other during times of crisis. It is refreshing to see the commitment of our emergency services personnel and the public in working so closely together to bring these difficult situations to a close. Our prayers are with Ms. Clark while she recovers," said Sheriff Matthews.

The search initially began Saturday. Crews were assisted by a SLED helicopter, but the search was called off at night when they were unable to locate Clark.

She was reported missing in the Cassatt area after deputies said the door to her home was found wide open. They said Clark suffered from dementia and memory loss.

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