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Authorities Find Doreen Marie O’Connor, Feared Suicidal, After Search

| March 8, 2016

Doreen Marie O’Connor.

Authorities are searching for Doreen Marie O’Connor.

Last Updated: 6:45 p.m.

Update: The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office posted the following at its Facebook, page:

FCSO deputies, correctional K-9 officers and a 7-year-old bloodhound named Wyatt, saved the life of a woman reported missing and suicidal today. Doreen Marie O’Connor was found unconscious in woods at Waterfront Park in Palm Coast. She was transported to Florida Hospital Flagler.

Worried co-workers and her family members alerted the Sheriff’s Office after receiving text messages from O’Connor that impllied she wanted to end her life. Using OnStar electronic satellite system, deputies tracked her car to Waterfront Park off Colbert Lane. K-9 officers used pieces of her clothing found in the vehicle to give Wyatt her scent.

The K-9 officers, from Tomoka Correctional Institute in Daytona Beach and Marion County, and deputies searched in an area about 100 feet from the entrance of the park.

A male transient told deputies that a woman fitting O’Connor’s description had asked him for directions this morning. Deputies estimate O’Connor had been there since 10:30 this morning.
It only took about 30 minutes before Wyatt reacted and tracked her scent to find O’Connor unconscious shortly before 2 p.m. today. Paramedics rushed to the scene, driving their vehicles through brush to reach her and transport her to the hospital. Sgt. Mark Tarntino, who runs the K-9 program at Tomoka Correctional Institute, and handles Wyatt, said today was Wyatt’s 38th “confirmed catch,” or location of someone missing.

Though searches for missing people don’t always end happily, today’s search and rescue did and some of the K-9 officers at the scene fist-bumped each other at the news that they saved O’Connor’s life. Commanders at the scene said the woman “would have died” if the rescuers hadn’t found her when they did.

As the deputies and officers cleared the scene, Sgt. Phil Reynolds took time to go to McDonald’s to buy a meal for the transient man who helped point the way to the unconscious woman.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is actively searching for a woman who has made suicidal comments to her family.


“We are searching the area near Waterfront Park off Colbert Lane and moving toward Grand Haven subdivision, using K-9 officers from Tomoka Correctional Institute and Flagler County’s FireFlight helicopter,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said in an email.

The woman is identified as Doreen Marie O’Connor, 50, described as 5’4’’, with brown hair and hazel eyes.

If anyone finds her, please do not approach her but call 911 and report to law enforcement.

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14 Responses for “Authorities Find Doreen Marie O’Connor, Feared Suicidal, After Search”

  1. Jim says:

    “using K-9 officers from Tomoka Correctional Institute”………..WTF is wrong with using our own K-9???? why do we train and pay for K-9 then not use them???? hello Sheriff??????

  2. Linda Sparda says:

    Im happy they found her and wish her good health.

  3. Ken Dodge says:

    FCSO Sheriff Manfre is to be commended for reaching out to the Tomoka K-9 team for assistance in this time-critical matter. With 37 confirmed previous “catches” to his credit, K-9 Officer Wyatt was the right choice for the mission, finding Ms O’Connor within 30 minutes, making unnecessary any further deployment of resources. Well done, Officer Wyatt, Sgt. Mark Tarntino, and the personnel of Tomoka Correctional Institute and Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

  4. Sandra says:

    Wonderful work by all involved. I hope this woman receives the much needed care.

  5. Pamela says:

    We are very proud of ALL the people that found this young woman, including the transient who paid attention to the woman enough to help those looking for her find her in time to save her life. I am happy our local authorities know when they need to reach out for help to other locations. They know what they are doing and I’m sure have a good reason for it. Accolades to all of you.

  6. Layla says:

    Thanks for a great story. Hope this woman is able to recover from all this.

  7. Ray Thorne says:

    @ Jim, the Tomoka dogs are Bloodhounds. Don’t think I need to explain any further.

    @ Ken, the people to be commended are at the patrol level. They’re the ones that make these decisions and do the reaching out..not the Sheriff.

  8. Gobsmacked says:

    Jim, K-9s are trained for specific jobs/tasks. Some are trained to hit on drugs, others on cadavers while others for people. Most likely not enough “missing persons” cases in the county to justify the need for that type of animal.

  9. Concerned Citizen says:

    While I am glad the woman was located and is hopefully receiving the care she needs lets point a few things out.

    1. Ray is right. Certain dogs are trained for certain tasks. Bloodhounds specialize in tracking humans and that is what was needed. Flagler County SO like a lot of other agencies have mutual aid agreements in place just for situations like this and I am sure this did not cost the county anything extra.

    2. The Sheriff is not responsible for immediate on scene decisions. That goes to the deputies, supervisors and commanders. The commander in charge will then notify the Sheriff who is only interested in making a public appearance and grabbing all the glory. I wish folks would stop worshiping the top guy and pay a little more attention to the folks on the street..

  10. Donna Heiss says:

    We do not have bloodhounds. Our K-9’s are trained to detain a suspect, not find a missing person.

    Years ago we did have a bloodhound and I would be more than happy to contribute to a purchase of a replacement.

  11. paula says:

    No one in flagler county is receiving the care they need! That’s most likley why the women was suicidal! There is such a hopelessness in people these days. Really can’t any of you see the correlations with the increased suicides? We work our asses off and get no where! Once we had health insurance that made us feel safe now we pay for health insurance that doesn’t cover basic care. Our jobs make us do the work of 3 employees for decreased pay packages, our houses are worth less than we owe and of coarse here we are 10 years into our motgages still paying $200 per month for mortgage insurance. … every time we turn around someone has found a way to screw us harder! Hopelessness! Nothing to look forward to. ..no retirement benefits. ..nothing…very sad state of affairs! I totally understand the people who are opting out of this shitty life!

  12. Sandra says:

    Paula, not that I disagree with you about how sucky things are for some people, but depression does not necessary correlate with a hard life. Depression is a brain disorder that can effect anyone regardless of their lot in life. Take Robin Williams for example. it is when you have no hope or happiness or see a future that you want to end it all.

  13. Holly says:

    Sandra is mostly correct. I have been chronicly suicidal since I was fifteen – now I’m 52. In my situation, it is apparently a combination of brain issues, psychological & physical trauma and neglect. Through medication, I have stayed alive and through excellent therapy, I am finally healing, I hope.

    Unfortunately, though, for many people, they, like me throughout my life, won’t get at and begin to heal the root causes and will commit, or want to commit, suicide.

    Being in the state of “suicidality” – – i. e.Wanting to die because you see no future, no way out, no hope or support, is hell. That’s what he’ll really is. For some people, death is the only way to relieve emotional suffering that is as unbearable as being on fire, but still alive. If you hav ever felt the depth of emotional pain I’m describing over a little my period of time, you would completely understand and a person taking their own life. It is not selfish, it is not a sin, it is our choice to determine how much suffering we can live with.

  14. Sandra says:

    Holly, so glad you finally received the help you desperately needed. You described depression and suidality very well. Until one has been there they will never truly understand the pain.

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