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Yulan Yang walked away from her home early Wednesday morning, deputies said.
The family of the elderly woman said she was at the home at 1 a.m. but when they checked on her again at 6 a.m., she was gone.
Apparently, she went down Campbell Road, crossed over the road, and went into a wooded area back there that leads to another neighborhood.
A Silver Alert went out for Yang, and when noon came and the heat rose, rescue crews began to worry.
As a Highway Patrol helicopter searched from the air, crews on the ground sweated in the scorching mid-day heat.
But soon came word that the helicopter spotted something. And shortly after that, Yang was being carried from the woods by sheriff's deputies, including J.H. Walker.
"Just like any other deputy and first responder in this world, we love taking care of people," said Walker, a Wake County sheriff's deputy. "Anybody that's in trouble, we treat them like it's our family that's in trouble. So I pretended like it was my grandmother."
Chopper11HD was over the active search when Yang was found and rescued.
Walker said Yang was scared and dehydrated but otherwise seemed OK.
She was taken to WakeMed Cary, where she was reunited with her family and is now listed in good condition.