The four-day search for Nelliya Karbisheva, 82, came to an end on Thursday afternoon after her body was discovered in a wooded area, her loyal poodle still by her side.
On Thursday morning, Karbisheva’s daughter, Marina Ponomareva, had still been clinging to hope that her mother would be found alive. It was not the first time Karbisheva, who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, has gone missing, Ponomareva said.
“In April she got lost and we looked for her for seven hours,” Ponomareva told the Citizen.
“She was in somebody’s house talking with them and enjoying company, she didn’t think to call us because of the dementia.”
The search for Karbisheva began on Sunday in Stittsville. She was last seen around 10:30 p.m. leaving the Queensway Carleton Hospital with her white poodle. Police began sweeping the area on foot as well as from above with the help of OPP drones. Residents in the area were asked to check their backyards and sheds for the missing woman.
Karbisheva’s body was found at the end of Stittsville Main Street in a wooded area. Her poodle was by her side and was rescued by the police search team.
Ponomareva had been moved to tears by the efforts of search volunteers earlier on Thursday.
“They are wonderful people, I am so grateful,” Panomareva said.
“Just thank you, thank you. Thank you everybody.”
Chelsea Dale, 23, one of the main organizers of the civilian search team created a Facebook page on Wednesday called “Help find Nelliya” which gained more than 500 followers within 24 hours.
“A couple of days went by and I wasn’t seeing the ‘found’ post,” said Dale, who is from Stittsville, a full-time student and mother of two.
“I started talking with some people about the situation, that we wanted to help and no one had taken the initiative to start it (so I did).”
On Wednesday evening about 60 people volunteered to help with Karbeshiva’s search. Some volunteered to search the more heavily wooded areas.
“I figured she must be in a wooded area and you need manpower for that,” Dorian Brown, one of the volunteers, said in an earlier interview with the Citizen.
“I had two parents who had dementia, it touches me,” said Brown, who is from Stittsville.
Karbisheva, who is originally from Uzbekistan, moved to Canada in 2011. Although she could not speak English, she was very outgoing and loved talking to people and would use her body language to communicate, Ponomareva said.
“Neighbours love her,” Ponomareva said.
Karbisheva’s granddaughter Ekaterina Ponomareva told the Citizen that the family was very sad about the news of Karbisheva’s death.
“She loves the family and loves her grandchildren and she always wanted to be all together,” Ekaterina said.
“She liked being part of a big family.”
Ottawa police are searching for an elderly woman with dementia who has now been missing since noon yesterday after going for a walk with her dog.
The 82-year-old from Stittsville was last seen at the Queensway Carleton hospital more than 10 kilometres from where she lives. Nellyia Karbisheva has gone missing before but it has now been more than 24 hours and both her family and police are worried for her safety.
Ottawa Police are searching in and around the Queensway Carleton hospital where a security guard believes he saw the elderly woman and her dog Bonya last night.
For her family, these are anxious hours.
“It (the hospital) looks so far from here,” says Nellyia’s daughter Marina Ponomareva, “Maybe somebody drove her, maybe somebody decided she wasn’t well or confused, I don’t know.”
The 82-year-old is known to be an avid walker. She left her house around noon yesterday and according to police, showed up at the Queensway Carleton around 10:30 last night. That’s a 12 kilometre walk.
Nelliya suffers from dementia. Her daughter says her mother loves to walk and would head out in almost any kind of weather, Bonya by her side.
“She thinks that it’s best cure from everything,” Ponomareva added.
Though she speaks only Russian, Nelliya and her miniature poodle are well-known in the neighbourhood.
“I saw her yesterday walking with her dog around 9:15 walking down Hazeldean,” says neighbor Kevin Fiset.
“I’m sad she’s missing,” adds neighbor Marie Swift, “I think this is the second time in a few weeks.”
In April, she was found about 5 kilometres from her home but police say it wasn’t for as long and it wasn’t as cold.
“Often times, people with forms of dementia will take shelter,” says Ottawa Police Inspector Glenn Wasson, “but they don’t have the means or ability to reach out to someone. And there’s a language barrier with this woman which probably exacerbates that.”
Police have about 25 officers actively searching for the senior. She is about 5 foot 2, with salt and pepper hair and was last seen wearing brown pants and blue-grey jacket.
Her daughter says Nelliya won’t leave her dog and her dog won’t leave her.
That may help police. Not only are they looking for an elderly woman but one with a little white poodle.
If you see her, you are asked to call Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222 or the Missing Person Unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 2355.
The Ottawa Police Service is reaching out to the public for assistance in locating a missing 82-year-old female by the name of Nelliya Karbisheva.
Karbisheva was last seen at approx 10:30 p.m. leaving the Queensway Carleton Hospital on foot walking towards Baseline Road.
Karbisheva is described as a white female who is 5’2″ tall, medium build with short salt and pepper hair last seen wearing brown shorts and a rose or pink hat and blue jacket.