The daughter of the 80-year-old Russian woman who was found on Saturday after being lost for three days in the Peyia area said on Monday she wanted to thank the police ‘ from the bottom of my heart’ for the way they handled her mother’s disappearance.
Natalia Zakharova said in a letter to the police that officers at Peyia police station had acted “as if their own mother had gone missing”.
The elderly woman was reported missing from her Peyia home on Thursday evening and was found on Saturday morning in a small gorge after sustaining just light injuries to her hands. Her family told police she had left the house at 8.30pm on foot and did not return.
She was located the police helicopter crew who were taking part in the search operation to find the elderly woman.
“After driving around for hours looking for her in the dark without any luck, the next day they began again at first light,” Zakharova said in her letter. The next day a new shift took over with an inspector in charge, who personally organised and supervised the search while dozens of police officers and members of the civil defence joined, including search dogs.
A police helicopter joined on Friday afternoon to coordinate with the search dogs, but with no results, the woman said, but the next day they returned with even more reinforcements and spread out in all directions.
“Eventually the police helicopter found her in the most outrageously unlikely place, using its thermal imaging camera. Even though my husband and I had stupidly done our best to convince the police that it was improbable for her to be there, where she was eventually found.”
She said her mother, who was in hospital after her ordeal, told her she had decided to go to the top of a hill to see the view from there.
Zakharova said because her mother has a heart condition and cannot normally walk very far, she had told her not to go very far that night and stay near their home.
“So, thank you Cyprus police. Thank you for your efficiency, your professionalism, your prompt response, but most of all, thank you for your compassion and for your humanity.”