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Missing Lincoln County woman found, but wanders away from police

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Police in University City are conducting an internal investigation after locating a missing Lincoln County woman but allowing her to wander away from their headquarters.

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said police located 54-year-old Lydia Wilkinson in University City on Tuesday and took her to the police department. She was left in the lobby unchaperoned and disappeared again before her family arrived to pick her up.

Wilkinson’s family filed a missing person’s report on July 27. She was last seen at the Mid-Rivers Mall around 8:30 p.m. that evening. Authorities found her vehicle in East St. Louis on August 4.

Her family said she has a history of mental illness, is known to become disoriented, and hasn’t taken her medication in over a month.

Fox 2/KPLR 11 dispatched a news photographer to the University City police station around noon, but Wilkinson’s son told them his mother had gone missing yet again.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the endangered person advisory for Wilkinson was canceled shortly before 1:30 p.m.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wilkinson had been located in University City. However, Sheriff John Cottle said he was unaware she’d managed to get away from police. Cottle said he wasn’t sure how that could have happened.

University City police confirmed Wilkinson was still missing and that their officers were assisting in the search for her.