Last Wednesday night as the rain was falling and the warm air was creating a thick low clinging fog throughout the Germantown area, Nancy Strohmeyer, was seen walking in front of her condo building by a neighbor who was leaving to run an errand. It was the last time anyone had seen or heard from the 66-year-old Germantown resident.
With a snowstorm bearing down on the area on Monday afternoon, Montgomery County Police detectives were searching in the woods behind the missing woman’s apartment in the hope of finding her before the storm arrives. While police are concerned for her welfare, there is no foul play suspected in this missing person case.
Nancy Eileen Strohmeyer, 66, of Millhaven Place in Germantown has been missing since Wednesday, Feb. 8. Police have utilized various tactics to try and locate her, including vehicle and foot patrols of local community and shopping centers, specialized scent tracking bloodhounds and other trained K9s, helicopters equipped with technology to help locate individuals as well as visual surveillance of the area.
According to family, she had been suffering from symptoms consistent with rapid onset dementia. She is in need of daily medications which she does not have with her.
“With the impending weather that is moving in tonight detectives are making this a priority in trying to locate her,” said MCPD spokesman Officer Rick Goodale. “Detectives are very concerned about her welfare, given the night that she went missing was a rainy and foggy night.”
On Monday afternoon police searched the wooded area which runs between the Cloppers Mill Condominiums to the south and the Seneca Club Apartments on Garden Club Drive to north, and Great Seneca Highway to the west, and Mateny Road to the east. The wooded area stretches for about 37 acres and runs from Great Seneca Highway back to Great Seneca Creek Elementary School on Dairymaid Road.
According to her son Ken Strohmeyer, his mother left the apartment with no purse, no money, no credit cards, no ID, and only on tan lightweight jacket, over a light blue blouse and a set of house keys.
“We are hopeful that they are going to be able to find her,” said Ken Strohmeyer. “We have a lot of people that are helping us. We have friends, and family, along with neighbors that my mother doesn’t even know who are putting up posters and flyers in shopping malls. We have friends and family that are coming in from out of town to assist us. We are not giving up hope at this point.”
“Over the last few months,” said Ken Strohmeyer, “my sister has been sensing that my mother’s been having some issues consistent with what we believe are dementia-related symptoms, and it had progressed very quickly,” He said the family was planning to take Nancy Strohmeyer to some specialists in the coming weeks to assess his mother’s mental health.
Nancy’s daughter Carolyn Driskill has been checking with her every day in the morning and the evening, to make sure all is well and that Nancy had taken her medications.
According to Ken Strohmeyer, Carolyn called Nancy and all was well about shortly before 7:00 pm, and then his mother called him at about 7:15 pm on last Wednesday and they spoke for 15 minutes while he drove home from work. That was believed to have been the last contact with her until it was discovered that a neighbor had seen Nancy walking back in forth in front of her building later that night. Ken Strohmeyer said that such behavior was something his mother had done in the recent past to “want to clear her head.”
When Carolyn called the next morning to make sure her mother was up and had taken her medication, the phone was not answered. At this point, Carolyn came to the condo, and found her mother’s bed made, and her purse and car in place, but no sign of her mother. The only things that appeared to be missing were Nancy herself, a tan jacket and a set of house keys. There was also no signs of forced entry. Police were called, and it was determined based on the timeline of events, that Nancy Strohmeyer left the condo somewhere between 7:30 pm Wednesday and 7:30 am on Thursday. Because her bed was still made, consistent with how the caregiver had made it the day before, it is thought she may have left in the evening when there was dense fog.
“She has no purse, no cash, no credit cards,” said Ken Strohmeyer. “She wasn’t very comfortable leaving the apartment. She would leave the apartment to go appointments and things like that but was always with my sister or a caretaker. We were surprised to hear that she would want to leave and come out of the apartment without anybody there.”
Neighbors have come together and gone door-to-door and hung posters, according to a statement released by the family. Additionally, family and friends have mobilized and implemented their own search teams and strategies, some traveling from out of state to help and support. Activities have included day and night foot searches through area woodlands, canvassing all local shopping areas and other locations Nancy frequented in the past, traveling local bus routes, and contacting hospitals, shelters, and churches.
“Despite the efforts of police, family, friends and the local community, Nancy remains missing, and the police are stumped as to how Nancy seems to have vanished,” said the statement.
Nancy Strohmeyer is described as a white female, five-feet, seven-inches tall, and weighing approximately 130 pounds. She has shoulder-length blonde hair and may currently be wearing a tan coat over a turquoise sweatshirt. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is asked to contact the Montgomery County Police Department at 301-279-8000.
Top: Nancy Strohmeyer with her grandson. This photo was taken in a few months ago.
Photo courtesy of Strohmeyer Family.
Next: This photo of Nancy Strohmeyer was taken by her daily caregiver the afternoon before Nancy went missing. She may still be wearing that same blouse, according to her son.
Photo courtesy of Strohmeyer Family.
Next: Detectives from the 5th District in Germantown search the wooded area behind Nancy Strohmeyer’s condo in Germantown.
Next: Ken Strohmeyer speaks with a detective from Montgomery County Police in front of Nancy Strohmeyer's apartment building in Germantown.
Next: Detectives searched this wooded area in Germantown on Monday afternoon in hopes of finding Nancy Strohmeyer.
Next: Police search the wooded area behind the Cloppers Mill Condominiums, adjacent to Cloppers Mill Village Shopping Center on Monday afternoon.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.