Elderly woman found dead in canal after walking away from East Valley care center

The body of 88-year-old Ina Jenkins was found in a Mesa canal about eight hours after she was...
The body of 88-year-old Ina Jenkins was found in a Mesa canal about eight hours after she was last seen at a Gilbert memory care facility on Monday, Aug. 8.(Courtesy: Gilbert Police Dept.)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 10:34 AM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — An investigation is underway after an elderly woman who walked away from a Gilbert memory care center was later found dead in a canal.

Last Monday, Aug. 8, the staff at the Silver Creek Inn Memory Care Center called Gilbert police when they couldn’t find a resident. Ina Jenkins, 88, had last been seen around 6 a.m. that morning and was believed to have left on foot.

Officers began searching the area and the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety soon issued a Silver Alert. Around 2 p.m. that afternoon, Gilbert police were notified that Jenkins was found dead in Mesa. According to Mesa police, her body was found in a dry canal south of Southern Avenue by a water company employee who was working in the area. That location is about 1.5 miles northwest of the care facility.

Mesa police say there was nothing suspicious at the scene and the investigation into her death was turned over to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office. Jenkins’ cause of death has not yet been released.

Gilbert police are still investigating circumstances involving her disappearance from the facility, along with the Arizona Dept. of Health Services “from the perspective of licensing rules and regulations.”