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Family of missing Phoenix grandmother not giving up hope

An 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer's has been missing since May 1 and the family hopes to get new leads.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:02 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Eighty-year-old Roberta “Bobbie” Braden wandered away from home in early May, then disappeared without a trace. The Phoenix grandmother is still missing. “It blows my mind that no one would have reported her, no one would have said, ‘Hey, I saw this person that’s been missing,’” said Braden’s son, Justin Powell. “That confusion is what eats me up late at night when I try to process where she could possibly be.”

Braden reportedly walked away from her son’s house near Baseline Road and 32nd Street in Phoenix and was spotted on the top of South Mountain in the early evening of May 1. She hasn’t been seen since. Hundreds of volunteers joined Phoenix police in trying to find Braden. They passed out flyers and combed for clues. Seven weeks later, not much has changed, with no explanation about where Braden went or what happened to her. “The hope is still there,” said Powell. “It’s not to the point where I’m driving around every night looking for her on the streets, but there’s still that glimmer of hope.”

Sgt. Phillip Krynsky with the Phoenix Police Department said the case is still an active investigation. “We have to keep every option open,” said Krynsky. “We don’t want to stick to one particular narrative. We have to look at things that might bring some new information.”

There was a report that Braden was spotted at a McDonald’s off Priest Drive and Baseline Road in Tempe a week after her disappearance, but it turned out to be someone else. Powell said his mother was an avid swimmer and was in pretty good shape, so despite her dementia, it’s possible she could survive the extreme heat.

He’s also not ruling out the possibility that his mom got on a bus somewhere or, maybe, is living with some homeless people, unaware of her surroundings. “It is strange someone of her capacity disappearing and not being able to find her,” said Powell. “It’s just baffling. I can’t understand where she is, where her compass has taken her.” If you have any information about this case, call 623-295-9827 or write to findrobertabraden@gmail.com. You can also call the Phoenix Police Department.