ELKTON — A 21-year-old woman who went missing after leaving her Elkton home early Saturday morning has been found — unharmed, Maryland State Police officials at the North East Barrack reported at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Monday.
The woman — Frances Lilly Di Ienno — was located in the parking lot of an Elkton church, police reported. As of early Monday morning, additional information was unavailable.
After Di Ienno had disappeared, investigators reported that she was considered to be “critically missing,” meaning that there was concern she could have posed a threat to herself, according to police.
Based on video gleaned from a security camera, Di Ienno left her home at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, police said. The footage showed Di Ienno with a flashlight, putting on her shoes and then leaving the rear of the residence, walking toward a wooded area on the property, police added. It was not clear at that time where she was trying to go, police noted.
Di Ienno’s mother contacted authorities at 8 a.m. on Saturday and reported her daughter missing, telling troopers that Di Ienno had left home and that she had last been seen at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Friday, some four hours before Di Ienno appeared on that video, police reported.
What followed was a massive search.
MSP troopers immediately responded to Di Ienno’s residence and started the search, according to police. Troopers on scene requested assistance from the K-9 Unit and Aviation Command, police said. A bloodhound track was conducted along with an aerial search by an MSP helicopter crew, police added.
A search management team with MSP’s Special Operations Division responded, as did Cecil County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Maryland Natural Resources Police officers, to assist in the search, police reported. CCSO deputies deployed a drone using thermal imaging to search the densely wooded areas, according to police.
In addition, 20 volunteers and six air-scent K-9s from Chesapeake Search and Rescue, Mason Dixon Search Dogs and Delmarva Search and Rescue assisted in the search, police said. Volunteering neighbors also helped in the effort, conducting their searches on horseback, on foot and on all-terrain utility vehicles, police added.
Law enforcement officers and volunteers searched for Di Ienno for 14 hours on Saturday and continued on Sunday. MSP posted a missing-person notice on its website and then issued an update on Saturday afternoon, both of which included photos of Di Ienno, a description of her and the clothing she had been wearing and information about her disappearance.