EAST COUNTY — Montgomery County’s latest missing person case ended in tragedy Wednesday morning in New Caney’s Northcrest Ranch 2 subdivision.
Officials say 78-year-old Opal Hayes, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, was staying with her grandson in the 17400 block of Saddle Creek Drive when she wandered away from the house. Hayes’ grandson told investigators she was last seen around midnight Tuesday night. Around 8:15 Wednesday morning, he realized she was gone and called 911. It was not the first time she had wandered away from the house.
Multiple officers from various agencies responded to the area to search for Hayes and alert area businesses of the situation in case she somehow made her way to them. Hospitals were also contacted, but none had any unidentified elderly patients.
Around 10:45 a.m., as the search continued and expanded, another 911 call was received from the Northcrest Ranch 2 subdivision, from a residence in the 23900 block of Arrowhead Point. The caller reported finding a deceased elderly female in their swimming pool. The body was soon confirmed to be that of Opal Hayes.
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace James Metts conducted an inquest an ordered the body transported to the Montgomery County Forensic Center in Conroe for autopsy by Eickenhorst Funeral Directors. Metts said there was no reason to suspect foul play.