Police search intensifies for 79-year-old Rose Bruce

By: 
Sep. 27, 2012

Authorities have expanded their search to include bodies of water near Rose Bruce's apartment and the several hundred miles she could have traveled since going missing Sept. 24.

BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER

The search for Rose Bruce, who was last seen leaving work on Sept. 24, has intensified.

As the search effort reached the three-day mark, authorities released surveillance video of Bruce leaving work, at the Wal-Mart on Granada Boulevard, and expanded the search to include sonar-equipped boats checking bodies of water within a half-mile of her apartment.

The surveillance video shows Bruce walking to her blue 1997 Honda Accord, lingering for a few moments and then getting in and driving away. In the video, Bruce can be seen carrying a pocketbook and packages.

The search, which is being headed by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, has also been expanded several hundred miles out, to include the area Bruce could have traveled with the gas in her car and the money in her pocket, according to a VCSO statement.

Bruce’s family has also set up a Facebook page to help spread the word about her disappearance.

Authorities initially said that Bruce had never been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or any other mental disability, but on Thursday, they said, “she has had some recent bouts of forgetfulness that could explain her disappearance.”

The Sheriff’s Office said they’ve received numerous tips about possible sightings at Wal-Mart locations in Marion County, Osceola County and DeLand, but nothing has panned out.

Authorities have also been checking area bus stations and hospitals, and missing persons alerts have been sent to law enforcement agencies throughout Florida and the eastern United States.

Bruce was last seen leaving work at 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, and was supposed to return an hour later to pick up her daughter-in-law, who also works at Wal-Mart.

When Bruce didn’t show up, her daughter-in-law walked home to their apartment and discovered the fire alarm sounding and smoke coming from the oven, where dinner was burning.

Bruce is described as a white woman, 5 feet 1 inches tall, weighing about 110 pounds, with blue eyes and gray hair.

The Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone with information about Bruce’s whereabouts call 736-5999.