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Missing woman found by State Patrol helicopter

A major search spearheaded by the Becker County Sheriff's Department was successful when a 62-year-old Cormorant woman was found late Monday afternoon.

Janice Baker, who lives on County Road 5 in the Cormorant area, was found by a State Patrol helicopter in a meadow with her dog about 1.5 miles from her home.

She had been gone 10-12 hours and appeared to be in early stages of hypothermia, having removed her shoes, according to Sheriff Tim Gordon.

She was found about 5 p.m., after an active search of 4-5 hours, and was taken to St. Mary's Innovis Health in Detroit Lakes for observation. She remained there Tuesday morning, Gordon said.

Baker was considered despondent and without needed medication when friends reported her missing Monday morning. She was always considered a "walk-away," Gordon said, not a victim of foul play.

Although the afternoon was sunny and warm, the morning had been foggy and cold, and temperatures were expected to drop into the 40s overnight, so there was a good deal of concern among volunteers and emergency workers who were looking for her, Gordon said.

"It was a very intense search," Gordon said. The Nelson-Erickson lake area was a "very rough search area," Gordon said. "It has a lot of rough, wooded, hilly terrain."

Searchers had not expected her to have walked as far as she did.

"Where she was found," Gordon said, "she fooled a lot of people -- we didn't think in her condition she could walk that far."

The State Patrol helicopter pilot saw her sitting out in the middle of a meadow with her black and white dog, Gordon said.

Sheriff's deputies were assisted in the search by Lake Park Alert first responders, Lake Park firefighters, Detroit Lakes police officers, including the K-9 unit, the sheriff's mounted posse, DNR conservation officers, the sheriff's office boat and water patrol, and about a dozen volunteers.