[xtypo_dropcap]W[/xtypo_dropcap]hat could have become a holiday tragedy for a Florida family was averted thanks to the keen eyes of a newspaper carrier.
The Florida Times-Union carrier Nicole Hanna was making her routine delivery in Jacksonville Fla., starting on Christmas Day, when she discovered an elderly woman that had gone missing.
Police flagged her down after 2:00 a.m. on Dec. 26 and informed her of the missing woman.
"One of the officers stopped me and asked if I was the newspaper carrier," Hanna told local WJXT news. "He said, 'Good, we've been looking for you.'"
The 82-year-old mother of Elizabeth Nixon-Lindsey had disappeared that night after spending Christmas Day with the family. According to Nixon-Lindsey’s brother, she may have disappeared from her bedroom sometime between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. He discovered that she had left her glasses, shoes, coat, and hearing aid behind.
According to Hanna, the police believed Hanna was a valuable asset to the search due to her familiarity with neighborhood roads.
Only minutes after the police asked for her help, Hanna found the elderly woman lying on a driveway underneath a SUV. Temperatures were near freezing, the Times Union reported.
"Lo and behold, I see a lady in a driveway in front of some kind of SUV and she's laying there shivering to death," Hanna said to the Times-Union.
Nixon-Lindsey’s mother was rushed to the hospital and treated for hypothermia. She later told authorities that she did not recall leaving her home, and asked that her name not be published. However, authorities told the Times-Union that they speculate that after she left her house, she may have sought shelter under the car after becoming confused in the dark.