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Police find missing 64-year-old Massillon woman's body behind snowbank, foul play not suspected

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Posted at 10:36 PM, Mar 05, 2021

MASSILLON, Ohio — The body of a missing 64-year-old Massillon woman with dementia was found behind a snowbank Sunday morning after she was taken to a dental appointment from a care facility on Saturday afternoon and never returned.

Authorities had issued a Missing Adult Alert for 64-year-old Jane McClelland, who was reported to have Alzheimer's disease as well as other health concerns, after she was reported to have walked away from the facility.

Additional information indicated she was taken from the Laurels of Massillon to a dental appointment at Hudec Dental around 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Laurels of Massillon said that McClelland went on a leave of absence to attend a personal appointment. The facility said she independently scheduled her appointment, arraigned transportation and was checked out by staff in the appropriate manner before she departed.

After her appointment, the Laurels of Massillon said that McClelland chose alternate transportation arrangements to go to another location.

Police said McClelland left Hudec Dental around 4:30 p.m. and was dropped off at Giant Eagle on The Strip.

When McClelland did not return to the facility as expected Saturday, a search for her was initiated, the Laurels of Massillon said.

While continuing to search for McClelland Sunday morning, Jackson Township police officers located her body behind a large snowbank near The Strip and Stark State College, authorities said.

Police said that they do not suspect foul play at this time.

An autopsy will be performed by the Stark County Coroner's Office to determine the cause of death.

The Laurels Of Massillon issued the following statement regarding the incident:

On Friday, March 5, a resident from The Laurels of Massillon went on a leave of absence to attend a personal appointment. The resident independently scheduled the appointment with their provider, arranged transportation, and was appropriately checked out by staff upon their departure.

At the conclusion of the appointment, the resident chose alternate transportation arrangements to proceed to another location. When the resident did not return to the facility as expected, facility staff attempted to locate the resident and immediately involved the resident’s family and local authorities when those attempts proved unsuccessful.

Staff members at the facility, with the support of local authorities and many other organizations, searched tirelessly for the resident across Stark County and Summit County on Friday and Saturday. Sadly, the facility was notified by the Jackson Township Police Department early Sunday morning that the resident was found deceased.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of a member of our community, and we express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the resident. Our facility will continue to cooperate with local and state agencies and assist authorities with follow-up queries.

The incident remains under investigation.

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