ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The whereabouts of a 47-year-old Hillsboro woman who was last seen early Monday morning was still unknown by 9:30 p.m. that evening.
Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning said Delores Johnson, who is employed as director of purchasing at Hillsboro Community Medical Center, was last seen by her husband, Ken, before he left for his job at HCMC that morning around 6:30 a.m.
According to Kinning, Johnson did not show up at HCMC at her normal time. Concern about her wherabouts increased when she did not respond to an ambulance call around 8 a.m.
Johnson is a volunteer with the local Emergency Medical Services crew.
“It’s very out of her character not to respond to an ambulance call,” Kinning said. “She’s very loyal to EMS, she’s a crew captain and very responsible in that area.”
Around mid-morning, her absence was reported to the local police who began searching the community and surrounding area for her or the family’s green 1998 Pontiac Montana she was believed to be driving.
Kinning said attempts to locate the missing woman included an aerial overview of the Hillsboro area and around Marion Reservoir.
“They came up with nothing,” Kinning said.
Around 5 p.m., a signal from Johnson’s cell phone was picked up at Cliffton, Colo., which is near Grand Junction.
Kinning said a second cell phone signal was picked up around 7:30 p.m. near Denver.
“All we know is that her cell phone is moving,” he said. “We just hope that when we find her cell phone and her van that we find her, too.
“We’ll keep looking and try to track any kind of records she might have,” Kinning added.
“There’s nothing illegal about disappearing in this country if you want to. But because of who it is-she’s a very responsible person-people like that don’t just take off. I’m concerned about her welfare.”
Kinning said law enforcement departments from Hillsboro to Salt Lake City, Utah, have been alerted to be on the lookout out for Johnson and the Pontiac van. A statewide bulletin has been issued as well “in case she is headed in other directions,” Kinning said.
Reports of her disappearance were broadcast by Wichita television stations by evening.