Banana Republic Employees Help Safety Locate Woman Missing From Deer Park Assisted-Living Home

Steve Miller
February 21, 2020 - 1:51 pm

(Lake County sheriff's office)


DEER PARK, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- An 80-year-old woman was missing for four hours this morning from an assisted living facility in Deer Park until alert employees and a customer at a nearby store recognized her.

It was a few minutes before 10 a.m. when Banana Republic manager Susan Rajner saw a woman waiting outside the Deer Park store.

"A little old lady was outside the store before the store opened," Rajner said. "So when I opened the door, she came in and said she was waiting for her daughter to come and go shopping with her."

Rajner said a customer came in and recognized the woman from an alert on social media.

Rajner then called 911, while sales associate Leslie Medina, who happens to be a certified nurse's assistant, tried to keep the woman calm.

Susan Rajner and employee Leslie Medina
Banana Republic manager Susan Rajner and employee Leslie Medina called 911 after seeing Dolores Catherine Steen-Fahey outside the store. (Courtesy Susan Rajner)

"I was just saying, like, 'Oh, would you like me to call your daughter?  Would you like to get on the phone with her?'  Medina said. "And that calmed her down a bit."

But the 80-year-old woman walked out of the store anyway. Medina, without a coat on, ran after her.  And soon sheriff's deputies arrived to intercept her.

The Banana Republic employees say the nursing home is about half a mile away from the store.

The Lake County Sheriff's office says the woman was missing since 6 a.m.

"That was a long time for her to be out and about... in cold weather," Rajner said. "I just had to put my mom into a nursing home, so it's a little emotional for me."

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the woman is in good condition and is being evaluated by paramedics.

“The Lake County Sheriff’s Office thanks the community for their tips and watchful eye, which ultimately led to [the woman] being located,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement..