ORANGE, Calif. - An Orange Police Department drone quickly found a woman and her dog that had been missing for hours.
68-year-old Becky Dominguez and her dog, “Buddy” went for a walk across the street from their Eastridge apartment Monday morning. They were gone for several hours and after searching, her brother called 911.
The police helicopter was unavailable so the department sent up the station drone, and within only one minute of searching from the aerial view, police were able to find Dominguez, laying on a hillside behind bushes, conscious but disoriented. Buddy’s leash was tangled in the brush.
“The only thing I remember that comes to mind is I tripped and fell because with the bruises on my knees, I know I crawled somewhere,” said Dominguez.
“We would’ve never thought of going in those bushes, especially where she was because it doesn’t have a trail there,” said her brother Gary. “I was very, very happy. The police department was wonderful.”
“It was very cool and rewarding,” said Orange Police Department Motor Officer Jordan Uemura. “We all hope for the best and it happened yesterday.”
Orange Police Department has been using a drone for two years, for purposes like looking on a resident’s roof for a potential bomb and to judge crowds during demonstrations. This is the first time they’ve found a missing person with the drone.
“We’re grateful we’re able to use this program and we’re grateful we found her so fast,” said Orange Police Sergeant Phil McMullin. “We’re grateful for her, for her dog and for the Orange Police Department.”
Dominguez is home from the emergency room and other than sore knees and elbows, she and Buddy are doing well and have a message for the police officers who found her: “Keep up the good work. You did a good job. I’d probably still be out there another day.”