Body found in San Juan Capistrano believed to be missing 94-year-old woman staff KABC logo
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Body found amid search for missing 94-year-old in Orange County
Authorities believe the body found in San Juan Capistrano is Shirley "Jean" Airth, 94, who was reported missing in the area a week ago.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities have found a body in San Juan Capistrano that they believe to be a 94-year-old woman who was reported missing more than a week ago.

Shirley "Jean" Airth was last seen on Dec. 18, when she left her home without her cellphone or wallet around 5 p.m.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department issued a Critical Missing Person alert and asked the public for help finding her.

On Monday, the OCSD reported that search-and-rescue teams had located a body around 11:30 a.m. along San Juan Creek, which is not far from Airth's home.

The department believes the body is Airth but they are waiting for official confirmation from the county coroner.

The body was in a location near where search-and-rescue teams had looked previously but was not visible and was found with help from search dogs.

At a press conference last week, the department said it launched a search effort which included distributing flyers in the neighborhood, asking the public for video, launching helicopters to search by air and a silver alert issued by the CHP.

The department said at the time there were no indications of a crime connected with Airth's disappearance. Her family said she suffered from dementia.

Her son Brian described Jean as a friendly woman who loved golf and hiking and got along great with her neighbors. She had lived in the neighborhood for more than 25 years.

She has four children and nine grandchildren.