Atsuko Horiuchi, who suffers from a cognitive disorder, was shopping with her husband in Great Neck Monday when she wandered away.
While the community came together to distribute missing person flyers, aviation crews using cameras that detect body heat were searching from the sky.
The 4-foot-9, 100-pound Horiuchi was found laying down in a ravine in a wooded area near the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Great Neck.
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Officers found her sleeping with her hands across her chest and feared the worst, but they quickly realized she was conscious and said there was a sigh of relief when she opened her eyes.
"I see as though she's going to pass out, so I grab her, I lay down, and I hoist her up over me," Sergeant Kevin Vargas said. "The officer behind me grabs her, and like a chain, they go to the other two officers on the other side of the fence. We lift her up, put her down, and God bless, for an 83-year-old, she's very strong."
Atsuko's family says she is doing fine after the terrifying ordeal.
"She just never gave up," son Yozo Horiuchi said. "The whole team never gave up, and I truly appreciate it. I know my mother wouldn't be alive without them."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran commended the rescuers and the rescue effort.
"This is what we're about in Nassau County: Helping each other, helping our neighbors, and thank the sweet lord we had such a beautiful ending to this very scary story," she said. "I'm so happy for your family. This is truly a blessing for all for us."
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