Deputies Can't Find Woman Who Calls 911 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Deputies Can't Find Woman Who Calls 911

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MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. -- A woman calls 911 on her cell phone but police can't find her. Kathy Alger made the call at 11:22 on the 6th of December. And dispatchers and deputies tried to help.

Kathy Alger made that call on this cell phone, trying to get help, but she couldn't speak, and deputies couldn't find her house.

The problem with dialing 911 on your cell phone is that you can't trace the call to its exact origin and in the case of Kathy Alger the call could have come from a range of 960 meters, which is longer than 10 football fields.

After dispatching a deputy to look for Kathy on December 6th, her body was found five days later in her home. That is when Kathy's daughter Kim found out. 

She says, "I fell to my knee. We thought she had just died, but to find out she had called 911 for help."

Kim says she wants people to know that a cell phone is not a fail-safe way to call 911. Umatilla Undersheriff Terry Rowan says that cell phone technology hasn't caught up enough to trace 911 calls accurately all the time.

He says, "The cell phone companies are saying they have the technology but I don't believe they are totally there yet."

Alger says she hopes no one has to feel the pain her family has felt. Undersheriff Rowan says they can trace some cell phones but it depends on the cell phone carrier and the technology involved. He says the best way to call 911 is to use a landline.