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Mentally Retarded Behavioral Profile

While Syrotuck had mentioned mentally retarded behavior, he did not have a large enough database to create meaningful statistics.  The mentally retarded profile accounts for 3% of Virginia's reported last person cases. It proved to be a unique blend of both the Alzheimer's and lost children's profiles.  Mentally retarded children tend to act more like age adjusted children, while adults tended to act more like the Alzheimer's profile.




Descriptive Statistics

Statistic Retarded Psychotic Despondent Alzheimer's
n (# cases) 29 25 65 87
Age (SD) 30 (3) 43 (16) 37 (16%) 76 (9)
Males 60% 63% 76% 67%
Females 40% 37% 24% 33%
Uninjured 85% 72% 34% 51%
Injured 11% 5% 11% 27%
Deceased 4% 22% 55% 22%
Investigative 11% 5% 10% 8% (25% in urban

Distance from the PLS (Mental Retardation)

Distance from the PLS Miles Kilometers
Mean 0.9 1.4
S.D. 1.2 1.9
Median 0.5 0.8
Range 0-4.9 0-7.7
25% 0.1 0.2
50% 0.5 0.8
75% 1.0 1.6
Max Zone 2.5 (95%) 4.0 (95%)

Find Location

Location Retarded Psychotics Despondent Alzheimer's
Structure 21% 23% 18% 15%
Yard (field) 16% - 3% 18%
Drainage 21% 7% 10% 18%
Woods 16% 30% 21% 7%
Brush/Briar 11% 7% 3% 29%
Road 11% 23% 4% 7%
Linear 5% - 13% -
Other - - 18% water 5% cliff 4%

Behavioral Profile

  • Blend of both Children and Alzheimer's profiles
  • Shape of distance traveled from IPP curve similar to Alzheimer's with slight expansion of distances
  • Good survivability rates (96%)
  • 97% will not respond to their name
  • 17% also had some physical impairments
  • Subjects did not travel to identifiable targets
  • Often found in structure (21%) or yards (16%)
  • Will travel into brush/briars, usually to seek shelter.  Greater penetration of woods.
  • Elderly mentally retarded more similar to Alzheimer's
  • None lost taking short cuts (common child strategy)
  • Median distance from IPP 0.5 miles (0.8 km)
  • Max zone (95%) 2.5 miles (4.0km)

Initial Reflex tasks

  • Early use of trackers at initial planning point (IPP)
  • Early use of tracking/trailing dogs at IPP
  • Through systematic search of residence and local yards
  • Early deployment of air-scent dog teams into woods and drainage's, start near IPP
  • Cur for sign along roadways and trials
  • Consider family to shout name (after tracking/trailing dogs)
  • Search brush/briars; remind field team leaders of importance
  • Subject may flee or move.  Areas will need to be researched with continual importance of looking for sign
  • Search urgency high
  • After initial reflex tasks search should expand outward from IPP.

Study Methods

The database used to collect this data has been described in a previous paper on Alzheimer's.  The following modifications were made.  Inclusion criteria:  Following terms appeared on missing person record; mental retardation, Downs syndrome, mental age of x.  Exclusion criteria:  Primary psychotic disorder, dementia, accidents, homicide, or abduction.

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