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Missing St. Charles woman found two states away, safe but confused

89 year old St. Charles resident. Sarah F. Mignreported missing Sunday white  2004 HondAccord  she was driving.

89 year old St. Charles resident. Sarah F. Mignin, reported missing Sunday, and the white 2004 Honda Accord she was driving.

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Updated: March 27, 2013 6:17AM

ST. CHARLES — An elderly St. Charles woman missing since Sunday morning finally was found safe but confused at a business in Michigan after apparently first traveling to Wisconsin, police report.

Police spokesman Paul McCurtain said Tuesday morning that Sara Mignin, 89, was found in East Lansing, Mich., at about 6 p.m. Monday, and that plans were being made to return her to St. Charles.

He said Mignin drove into a Panda Express restaurant in East Lansing and began asking for directions back to Illinois. She seemed confused, he said, so the restaurant’s customers began asking questions to determine if she had names and telephone numbers of family members. The customers contacted her family, who in turn contacted the St. Charles Police Department.

The search had begun Sunday morning, when police were called about 9:15 a.m. Sunday asking for a well-being check on Mignin, in the 3200 block of Renard Lane. Family members were concerned because she had failed to show up at her daughter’s home that morning as previously planned.

McCurtain said police went to her house and found it secure. Permission was obtained to search inside the house, but Mignin wasn’t located there and there were no visible signs of foul play. Her car was not in the garage, police said. Family members told police that while Mignin has no reported pressing health or cognitive issues, she recently seemed to have some memory problems.

Officers put out an area broadcast and a check of area businesses and hospitals did not turn up the missing woman. Officers also checked with the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System and determined that no other police department had checked on her license plate. Her name was then entered into the system as a “missing endangered adult.”

Through investigation, it was determined that Mignin’s credit card was used to purchase gasoline at a station in Walworth, Wis. at 12:16 p.m. Sunday. Police personnel requested that the gas station review security tapes and it was determined that it was Mignin who pumped the gas. St. Charles investigators then began working with Wisconsin law enforcement agencies to locate her.

The search expanded to Michigan Monday afternoon when her bank reported she had used a credit card in the Lansing area on Monday morning.

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