Search continues for missing woman

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- Family, friends and volunteers fanned out from Washington Park Saturday to help find a woman missing since March 23.

Theresa ‘Teri’ Cox, 56, was last seen on foot in the 1100 block of West Cook Street. At a meeting before Saturday’s search, Cox’s sister Brenda Nelson revealed new details of the moments before Cox went missing.

Their father was in hospice care after a painful illness, and a nurse told the family he had only one or two days to live. Cox heard the nurse’s report and saw papers for a do-not-resuscitate order.

“I think when she read that, it all became real to her that this was going to happen,” Nelson said. “We said ‘Teri, we need to be with him’ She sat down on the chair, reached into her purse and said ‘I will be with him.’”

Cox took a bottle of muscle relaxers, Nelson said. Family members tried to force her to spit them out. They dialed 911. Cox broke free and walked away from the house and down Cook Street.

"I flagged the fireman down and I said 'This is the girl, you need to go get her.' I still had her. I saw her,” Nelson said. “I turned around, and they said 'Is she the one who took the pills?' I said 'Yes ... here's what she took.' I turned around and she was gone."   

Gia Hoffman of the group Missing Persons Awareness Network said police in Springfield have searched diligently for Cox.

Law enforcement ... they have literally, I don't know if necessarily exhausted their search, but they have worked this case every day,” Hoffman said.

Several police were on hand for the search Saturday.

Cox was last seen wearing a black and white pattern coat and black jeans. She has long hair, brown eyes and light skin. Family members said she had no purse, no money and no ID. Although she had a phone, she did not have a charger for that phone, they said.

"We will not stop until we find her. We can't,” Nelson said. “My family needs peace and we will not get that peace until she's found." 

The search is expected to continue through 6 p.m. Saturday. Volunteers can meet at the Washington Park pavilion.

Anyone with information that could help the search is asked to call Springfield Police at (217) 341-1273 or the Missing Persons Awareness Network at (312) 620-0788.

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