Vehicle in missing elderly woman case is found: But where is Mary Black?

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Vehicle in missing elderly woman case is found: But where is Mary Black?

By Taylor Higgins, Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Nov 25, 2013 - UPDATED: Nov 30, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A hunter located a vehicle that was last driven by an elderly woman who went missing last week from the St. David area. 

Carol Capas with the Cochise County Sheriff's Department tells KGUN9 that 86-year-old Mary Black went missing from St. David around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 24.

Black's family told deputies that Black took the keys to a 1991 Ford Explorer and left a home in the St. David area. Black's daughter said her mother suffers from dementia and has not driven in ten years.

Capas says a hunter found the Explorer approximately one mile away from the Papago Indian Reservation Saturday, Nov. 30 around 9:00 a.m.

The Pima County Sheriff's Search and Rescue teams deployed to the area, but after a full day of searching with dogs, ground teams and aircraft, deputies said they are confident Black is not in the area, and was probably not the last person to drive the car.

The biggest clue at the scene, footprints, deputies believe are not hers. 

"Those footprints led to a roadway just north of where the vehicle was last found," Jason Dowdy said. "At that location we saw a set of vehicle tracks that did a U-turn right at the point where those footprints ended, leading us to belive that whoever it was that was associated with that vehicle had walked up the roadway and was picked up by another vehicle."

Deputies said there are several theories: One being that Black left the keys in the car at a truck stop and someone else drove away.

As for how Black's vehicle ended up 130 miles away from  home, her daughter said Black used to take Sunland Gin Road, near where the vehicle was found, to visit Mesa, Ariz., where she lived more than 25 years ago.

Black's daughter, Mary Ann Black, said her mother had been talking about Mesa a lot the last couple of weeks. 

Black was last seen wearing a short sleeve shirt and pants and her hair was disheveled. She is a white woman, around 5-feet-9-inches-tall, weighing around 130 pounds. She appears frail and has grey hair and hazel-green eyes, according to Capas.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office asks that anyone with information about Black's whereabouts, call the Cochise County Sheriff's Office at 432-9500 or call 9-1-1.