Report: Communications Mishandled During Search for Grandmother Who Went Missing From Reagan National

A report says the U.S. Park Police mishandled communications during a search for a woman who went missing after arriving at Reagan National Airport from Barbados.

The Park Police requested an investigation by the Office of Inspector General after it learned of inappropriate remarks made by a shift commander about the woman, who was found dead three days later.

The report, released Thursday, details the agency's response after 83-year-old Victoria Kong went missing on May 3, 2013. Kong was last seen leaving the airport on foot. Her body was found north of the airport in a wooded area.

The report says information about the case was not always effectively communicated within the Park Police. It also says a shift commander described Kong as a "9,000-year-old Alzheimer's woman."

"The deplorable language used by the U.S. Park Police shift commander to describe Mrs. Kong is truly appalling," said the Kong family's attorney, Billy Martin, in a written statement.

Mrs. Kong's family had made an arrangement with American Airlines for Mrs. Kong to be escorted from her flight to baggage claim where her daughter was waiting, according to Martin.

When Mrs. Kong never arrived, her daughter immideately reported her missing to American Airlines. According to Martin, the report shows that valuable time was lost because of law enforcement's indifference to Mrs. Kong's diasppearance.

"It is our hope that this report will help dispel mischaracterizations of Mrs. Kong and serve as a vehicle for bringing about change in the way missing persons reports are handled by law enforcement," Martin said in a statement. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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