Inverness family still searching for grandmother missing for 6 months

By Kim Leoffler, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017, 6:47 PM EST

It's been 6 months since a Citrus County grandmother disappeared. 72-year-old Carol McHugh was reported missing in June after she went for a walk near her home in Inverness and never returned.

  • Carol McHugh suffers from dementia
  • Last seen on Regency Row
  • Deputies searched for 5 days with no results

"I think the simplest way to say it is surreal," Carol’s grandaughter, Dani Phillips, said.

Phillips said she never expected that her family would be in this situation.

"I think for the last six months it's been, well, this has never been an option -- this was never a reality and now it is it's here," she said.

Carol has dementia and wandered away from her home in Inverness in June, never to be seen again. She was last seen on Regency Row.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office and volunteers conducted an extensive search of the area for five days with no results.

Phillips said one of the worst parts of the entire situation is not knowing exactly what happened.

"I think that's the hardest part of this is the 'what if,' because the unknown, the uncertainty is very intimidating," she explained.

But she said one thing that has helped them through this dark time is the support of the community.

"With the constant support we get the prayers, the messages, the comments. We still get photos of people hanging flyers and that makes a big difference that's huge,” Phillips said.

And while they still haven't given up hope that carol will be found safe, Dani and her family hope to raise better awareness about dementia and how people can prepare.

"I would not wish this on anyone," Phillips explained. "Start to pay attention to those signs, be vigilent on your own home life, do some scene kits. Please prepare yourselves so something like this doesn't happen to your family."

We did reach out to the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. They tell us they have no new information about Carol, although they did say her case is still open and active.