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Missing Denver nursing facility resident found

Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 11:52:04-04

UPDATE | April 20, 8:32 a.m. — The 71-year-old woman who went missing from a Denver nursing facility was found after a passerby saw her near Colfax Avenue and Logan Street at approximately 7:25 a.m., according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. She did not have any apparent injuries.

DENVER — The search for a missing 71-year-old woman from a Denver nursing facility continued Tuesday.

Chong Soon Yi is a resident at the Amberwood Court Rehabilitation and Care Community, which is located at 4686 East Asbury Circle in Denver. Facility staff discovered her missing on Saturday.

Yi, who staff says is familiar with the area and frequently ventures out of the building, was last seen Saturday morning at a bus stop near Jewell Street and Asbury Circle wearing a blue jacket and dark-gray sweatpants. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations issued a Senior Alert on Monday.

Those who have met Yi say she is a nice woman who before arriving at Amberwood in 2017, had been homeless. An Amberwood employee, who chose to remain anonymous, told Denver7 that they feel the nursing home is responsible for her disappearance.

“It is a locked facility. So there's a code to get in and out. If the resident wanted to go outside, she should have been allowed outside in the back, not out in the front because then that makes her unsupervised,” said the worker.

The Denver Police Department says the facility reported Yi missing within 30 minutes and officers immediately conducted a grid search, notified public transportation, and put her name on a nationwide system.

The CBI alert was issued two days after she was discovered missing. The reason for the delay was a lack of information, police said.

“As more providers came into work on Monday and saw that she was missing, they had more background information, which they reached out to us and caused us to escalate our response. The care providers who were on scene that day didn't provide that to our officers,” said Sergeant Brian Cotter with DPD's missing and exploited person’s unit.

According to Amberwood, Yi suffers from dementia and schizoaffective disorder. Still, after assessing her in April, she was deemed low risk, meaning she could be outside and had never wandered away before.

“According to staff they reported that she did like to sit outside, and so that's certainly something that she was capable of doing,” said Cynthia Coenen, chief clinical officer for Vivage Senior Living.

Coenen said Amberwood staff always cooperates with police and said she was unaware of any issues police may have had immediately getting all of the information.

“It's my understanding that we fully cooperated with the authorities and so this is the first time I’m hearing of this. I would need to interview the individual that had a point of contact with the police department,” said Coenen.

"Who is her voice? If they're supposed to, is that facility supposed to be her voice? If they're not, then who is?” said the worker.

The 71-year-old is described as a 5 feet 2 inches tall, 100-pound Korean-American female with brown hair and brown eyes.

The CBI said Yi is familiar with RTD and may have used it as transportation.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Denver Police Department at 720-913-2000.