Death of Essex man sparks effort to create alert system for seniors

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The disappearance and death of an elderly Essex last winter is sparking action at the Vermont Statehouse.

Eight-nine-year-old Clint Casavant went missing for nearly a week in December. Police later found his body inside his car in Woodbury. Family members had told police he likely was lost or confused but had no history of mental health issues.

Lawmakers are now poised to take up a bill creating a system that informs the public about missing seniors. Vermont is one of a handful of states without a so-called ‘silver alert’ system that operates similar to an amber alert for missing kids.

Sponsors of the bill say it’s about giving families peace of mind. “My father would go out walking on the road with his walker the last four to five years of his life. I was never in the position where I had to go out looking for him. If I had been, I would have been frantic,” said Sen. Richard Westman, R-Lamoille County.

The American Silver Alert Coalition says six out of 10 people with dementia end up wandering away from home.

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