Missing Pownal woman found


POWNAL -- Vermont State Police located 71-year-old Rita Sweet on Tuesday after the Pownal woman was last seen leaving her residence on Vt. Route 346 near US 7 on foot at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 30.

A woman matching Sweet's description was spotted by Vermont State Police about 7 p.m. Tuesday, emerging from a wooded area on Route 346, about 200 feet over the state line in New York, according to a release issued by Sgt. Jesse Robson at the Shaftsbury Barracks of the Vermont State Police.

Officers spoke with the woman, who confirmed she was Sweet. She told the state police she had left her home after a money-related argument with family members, intending to walk to Petersburg, N.Y., to meet up with unspecified friends and family members. She also said she had purposely laid in the shade near the Hoosic River and slept during the heat of the day, and chose to start walking when temperatures cooled off.

Sweet is originally from the Troy, N.Y., area.

Vermont Trooper Chris Blais headed a search and rescue team Tuesday from the Pownal Fire Department on Vermont 346, which worked its way west.

Troopers from Shaftsbury were joined in the search by members of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Pownal Fire Department, Rensselaer County Sheriff deputies, the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue Team and a fixed-wing aircraft from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine for ground and air searches.

Sweet showed signs of dehydration and had blisters on her feet, but was otherwise in good health, according to the release. She was taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for medical evaluation, where she was also reunited with family members.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg. News editor Stephanie L. Ryan contributed to this story. Reach her at sryan@benningtonbanner.com or on Twitter @StefkaRyan.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions