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The Search For Hellen Cook Focuses After Personal Items Found

WARSAW, Mo. -- Two clues are helping investigators focus their search for a missing woman.
WARSAW, Mo. -- Two clues are helping investigators focus their search for a missing woman.

Shoes and a scarf were discovered by a pond Thursday and the Cook family believes they may belong to Hellen.

The 72-year-old with Alzheimer's has been missing for 12 days.

Hundreds of people searched wooded areas and Truman Lake Thursday.

"I would re-affirm my love for her," says Hellen's Husband Howard Cook. "And let her know how much we miss her and let her know we are doing everything to get her back."

As the sun shined over the Truman Lake area in Warsaw Thursday, Hellen Cook's family struggled with the unknown.

"At night when it gets dark, I think wherever she is, I know she's thinking, 'why doesn't Howard come get me? Because he knows where I am,' because in her mind, she always thinks I know and I can't get her and it hurts big time," Howard says.

Volunteers covered heavily wooded areas spanning around 200 acres.

"If it were my mom, I'd be searching day and night," says Cameron Wheatley, who came from Whiteman Air Force Base to support Hellen's son Michael and the rest of the Cook family. "So this is the least we could do to come try and help."

"We've been on foot, on ATV, in boats and in vehicles," says Benton County Sheriff Rick Fajen. "We've been out in the mornings, in the evenings, just trying to spot signs of where she may be."

A large portion of the search took place in the Walnut Grove and Hensley Road area where Hellen was last seen on July 13.

Temperatures were high during the search and the wooded terrain made things difficult but volunteers are not stopping.

"I want to find her," says Volunteer Carl "Butch" Green.

Hellen's family arrived at the search with high hopes and as the search continues, the Cook family tries to remain optimistic that their loved one will find her way home.

"I didn't know we had this many friends," said Hellen's son Michael, as he looked at the crowd. "We love you and want you back," he added about his mother.

There were three minor injuries during the search today but everyone has been treated and released.

Dog teams are searching the water near where the shoes and scarf were found.

The sheriff says that area was searched the night Hellen disappeared.
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