An 83-year-old woman who had been missing since wandering from Reagan National Airport was found dead Monday. News4's Shomari Stone reports.
A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police search-and-rescue team found the body of an 83-year-old woman missing from Ronald Reagan National Airport since Friday afternoon.
The team found Victoria Kong's body north of the airport and south of Gravelly Point off the George Washington Parkway about 2 p.m. Monday, according to U.S. Park Police. She was in a wooded area about 30 feet from a bike trail.
Kong, of Montgomery County, returned Friday from an extended trip to Barbados, where she is from originally, arriving at National Airport on an American Airlines flight from Miami.
Kong suffered from short-term memory loss, her family said, but she spoke fluent English. Her family paid for a wheelchair assistant to escort Kong to baggage claim Friday, but she never arrived.
"We were assured that she was in a wheelchair, on her way to us at baggage claim," said Alexandria Anderson, Kong's granddaughter. "We were there waiting for her. We arrived before the flight landed."
According to surveillance video, Kong walked out of the terminal at 4:12 p.m. She talked to some cab drivers but didn't get into a cab. Two and a half hours later, another camera showed Kong walking north on the Mount Vernon Trail toward Gravelly Point.
American Airlines released a statement Monday expressing condolences to Kong's family.
"When customers book tickets and request special assistance, our team of specialists trained in compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act proactively reach out to our customers to understand what type of assistance may be required," the statement read. "In this case, American was asked to provide mobility assistance, but we received no indication that Ms. Kong suffered from any form of cognitive disability. If we learn that a customer has a cognitive disability, our agents are trained to advise that we do not provide supervision of passengers and a companion is necessary to ensure safe travel."
Over the weekend, her family handed out flyers with Kong's information, hoping someone had seen her or talked to her.
Search dogs tracked the scent of Victoria Kong to Roosevelt Island Sunday afternoon, where crews searched for Kong by boat and foot. They resumed their search Monday as soon as there was enough daylight.