RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Riverside Police Officer Sheryl Palermo fields a lot of calls, but one that came in Wednesday was different -– and more serious than most.

A man called 911 to say his 78-year-old wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease, disappeared without taking her coat.

“Our concern was getting officers to the area as quickly as possible to try and locate her,” Palermo said.

They had to work fast, given that this week’s bitter cold could kill. Authorities fanned out from the woman’s home.

Officer Jim Lazansky and Sgt. Frank Lara learned the woman left while her husband napped. They could see her footsteps in the snow.

“They went through garages, vehicles, anything where she may be trying stay warm,” Deputy Chief John Krull said.

Two doors down, they found her under a trailer, with only a few inches of clearance, in Sam Sion’s backyard. She had no shoes and no coat.

“My granddad had Alzheimer’s as well, and it’s just hard for anyone in that situation,” Sion said.

Police got the woman out of there as quickly as they could.

“A huge thumbs up to them,” Krull said.

Krull said his whole staff put down everything they were doing to find the woman. She was in the cold at least 45 minutes. As of Wednesday, she was recovering at a hospital.

Watch & Listen LIVE