VT woman located after photo recognized on NEWS10

ALBANY, N.Y. (News10) — A missing Vermont woman is reunited with her family thanks to some quick thinking sleep center techs who just happened to recognize her from a photo on a NEWS10 newscast.

She says a colleague who tried to help the woman likely startled her. And the woman ended up rushing out the door. They decided to call the police. Around the same time, they happened to notice a story about a missing woman from Vermont during our News10 morning newscast on their office tv. They immediately recognized Esther Berman’s photo as the same woman who had rushed out of their lobby.

“And all of a sudden your broadcast of her was there. And it was her in the same outfit and we had just seen her. Thank God for channel 10,” said sleep center employee Joy Purdy.

But, where did she go? Davia and Joy began a foot search and with the help of another colleague they were able to locate Esther near the parking lot. “We were just like, ‘Oh my, he found her!’ Because it would have been such a tragic thing. And I’m like, life can’t be that cruel. We gotta find her. So when we found her we were just elated” added Joy.

Davia and Joy say Esther seemed happy but very disoriented and unable to speak. After a medical evaluation she was reunited with a family member. A spokesperson for the Vermont State Police tells News10 she continues to do well with her family. It’s still unclear why the 74-year-old drove the 90 plus miles from her home in Benson, Vermont and ended up at the sleep center off of Washington Avenue Extension in Albany.

For Joy it was a reminder of a missing person in her own life. She’s a former foster parent to Jaliek Rainwalker who went missing in 2007. New York State Police say his adoptive father, Stephen Kerr remains a person of interest in the case. State Police were spotted searching once again for any clues in the case this week based on a recent tip.

“To me, this was a happy ending of course. And it doesn’t always turn out that way,” said Joy.

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