Missing Washington grandmother found dead near airport

May 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- Searchers in Washington found the body of an 83-year-old grandmother who vanished from Reagan National Airport, the woman's family said.

Victoria Kong, who suffered from early signs of dementia, wandered off from the airport Friday after her flight arrived from Barbados by way of Miami, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Surveillance video at the airport shows the woman strolling along the Mount Vernon trail. The trail, which is used by pedestrians and bicyclists, runs between the Potomac River and the George Washington Memorial Parkway, authorities said.

Searchers found Kong's body Monday in a wooded area near Gravelly Point, the Post said.

Kong's family blamed American Airlines for failing to pick up Kong from her seat on the plane and escorting her to baggage claim where her daughter, Joy Anderson, was waiting.

The airline said the family had not requested the woman be guided from her seat, and that they only asked for wheelchair service at the gate. Surveillance video shows Kong walking past a airline representative posted at the gate holding a sign with her name on it, the Post reported.

"As a matter of policy, we reached out . . . to see if [Kong] needed help deplaning and [her granddaughter] said no," American Airlines spokeswoman Stacey Frantz said. "We did everything according to policies and procedures for a customer in this situation."

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