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Laura Williams-Jaffe

Family seeks help finding missing Fargo woman

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FARGO - Family members of Laura Williams-Jaffe, who went missing Wednesday from an apartment near Fargo's Island Park neighborhood, are asking her to call them or return home, and are seeking the help of area residents and police to find her.

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One of her brothers, Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams, said the family searched the neighborhood, put out fliers and hired a private investigator to find their sister.

Williams and his siblings said Monday that their sister is a vulnerable adult. They said the 56-year-old requires medications to control anxiety, and for pain from a broken back she suffered in a car crash in October.

Williams and other family members said they believe she took some medications with her, but those probably ran out Monday.

Williams, his brother Greg Williams of Fargo, and sister Jane LaMont of Edina, Minn., said Williams-Jaffe left a note for a niece she was rooming with, saying she was going to visit an old friend with whom she attended Fargo's Shanley High School.

However, she left her purse, cash, cell phone and back brace in her apartment, they said.

It appeared that she left the apartment sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., family members said.

Williams-Jaffe was in a car crash in October and broke her back, Mike Williams said. She stayed at Fargo's MeritCare Hospital until Thanksgiving.

"She's very vulnerable," Greg Williams said, citing weakness from the crash injuries.

Family members said Williams-Jaffe is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. She has long, straight, light brown hair, they said.

Greg Williams said she looks more like a 40-year-old than her true age of 56.

Due to her crash injuries, she walks slowly and deliberately and has difficulty with balance, family members said.

Family members said she left the apartment wearing a white, waist-length down jacket with a fur-trimmed hood. She was also wearing black, ankle-high boots that zipped in front and tan corduroy pants, they said.

Fargo patrol Officer Chris Helmick said police investigators have followed all leads with no success, including searching the Island Park neighborhood, and checking with cabs, the train and bus depots, and hospitals.

Helmick said Williams-Jaffe's name was sent to the National Crime Information Center in case she gives her name to law enforcement. He said there is no national system such as Amber Alert that can be used to help find vulnerable adults.

Helmick said anyone with information on Williams-Jaffe can call the police dispatch center at (701) 235-4493 or (701) 451-7660, or they can leave a voice-mail message at (701) 241-8175.

Greg Williams said he can be reached at (701) 446-6237.

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