AVERILL, Vt.— On Jan. 5, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Beecher Falls Station in Canaan, Vermont, were able to locate a local resident who became disorientated after taking a ‘nature walk’ in the woods south of State Route 114 in freezing weather.
“The agents training and experience allowed them to recognize that something wasn’t right about this situation,” said Patrol Agent in Charge Paul Kuhn, Beecher Falls Station. “I commend them for taking that extra step to ensure her safety, and this incident could have had a completely different outcome if it wasn’t for these agents.”
When returning to their duty station, agents noticed what appeared to be a bag in a snowbank on Vermont Route 114. Further investigation revealed the bag to actually be a purse, which was identified belonging to a local Vermont woman. While examining the contents of the purse, a local resident arrived on-scene and informed the agents that the purse’s owner had parked her vehicle in the resident’s driveway and then told the resident that she decided to “take a nature walk.”
Due to the outside air temperature at the time being approximately two degrees below zero Fahrenheit, the two agents followed the footprints left by the woman along the road to ensure her safety. During the tracking of the woman’s footprints, agents encountered the Canaan Chief of Police who also assisted in the search. Agents were able to track the woman’s footprints approximately 50 yards and found her without a hat or gloves, and one missing shoe.
During the welfare check questioning, agents noticed her answers were slow and incoherent. For her safety, agents managed to convince the woman to accompany them back the road, where they placed her in their warm vehicle and called Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
EMS arrived at approximately 12:50 pm and measured the woman’s core body temperature at 89.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Subsequently, EMS treated the woman for hypothermia and she was transported to a local hospital in Colebrook, New Hampshire for further treatment.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.