Mattie’s Call: Georgia’s Investigative Tool for the Cognitively Impaired Adult

Mattie’s Call: Georgia’s Investigative Tool for the Cognitively Impaired Adult

Friday, November 25, 2011


Joseph Pinson, 81, had gone missing after not returning from his routine barber shop visit.

It wasn’t until the next morning that Mr. Pinson was found unharmed more than 50 miles away with the help of Georgia’s alerting system, Mattie’s Call.

Mattie’s Call, a statewide alerting system, is designed to locate missing adults who have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or a mental disability. Once the alert has been issued, information about a person’s disappearance is disseminated to the media, other law enforcement agencies, and on Georgia’s lottery machines and signs.

In this particular case, once the Mattie's Call was issued, it only took a few hours until a woman at a gas station recognized Mr. Pinson and call 911. She had read his description on a lottery screen inside a convenience store.

Established by the Georgia General Assembly in 2006, Mattie’s Call was a response to the death of 67-year-old Mattie Moore. The northwest Atlanta woman, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, wandered away from her home in 2004 and was found dead eight months later, 250 yards from her front door.

Kenneth Moore, the 51-year-old son of Mattie Moore, is quoted saying, “Quite often you see it [a Mattie’s Call alert] on the early morning news or late evening news. You have to stop and think, it could be another life saved. It makes you feel good to see that it's working."


Lessons Learned:
Have a plan in place locally to respond to this special population.

  • About 60% of Alzheimer’s persons who are missing by car are found outside their county of residence.
  • 1.5 mile radius--Most missing persons with Alzheimer’s disease who wander on foot are found within 1.5 miles of point last seen—if they have taken a vehicle and subsequently left it, they will likely be within a 1.5 mile radius of the vehicle.
  • Having a specific plan within your agency will reduce response time and specialized training can help target search areas.
  • Work within state plan (if available) when appropriate to add resources to your search and rescue efforts.

For more information about your state’s alerting system and criteria, visit the interactive map on the Alzheimer’s Initiative’s homepage:

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 Return to the Alzheimer’s Initiative main page.