Woman at center of Pandora Duckett disappearance tells her side


Pandora Duckett

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The last person to see a missing 85-year-old Alzheimer's patient is coming forward to help clear her name after receiving backlash, and she says the focus should be on finding Pandora Duckett.

Radrika Settles said her one kind gesture — taking an elderly woman to a store and dropping her off — is turning into a nightmare.

"Folks making me feel like me doing the right thing was the wrong thing," Settles said as the search for Duckett entered its fifth day Friday. "They are saying awful things, I robbed her, I hurt her, and I put her somewhere."

She didn't want to show her face because of all the harsh things people are saying about her since Duckett disappeared.

"I don't want anyone to make me out as a monster," she said. "I just want to clear my name. I have not harmed, I have not hurt her, all I did was help her to the best of my ability."

Fed up with the accusations, Settles walked us through that Monday morning she spent with Duckett.

"She probably was with me from 9:18 to 9:25, if I am not mistaken. ... I was just giving someone a ride because I didn't want her to be hit by a car."

She says she noticed Duckett walking down a dangerous back road.

"The car that was coming up the road, which was a red Camry, it swerved, almost hit her, so I said to myself, 'Back up, don't leave her walking.'"

She says Duckett was grateful and didn't seem to be in a state of confusion at the time.

"I didn't know her personally to know that she had Alzheimer’s," Settles said. "She was like, 'Thank you, bless your heart, you have a good heart. God bless you, God bless you."

Settles says she stopped her at a store and waited as Duckett shopped.

"When she came out I asked her, 'You didn't get anything out the store?' She said, 'No he didn't have what I needed.'"

The woman  says she saw no reason to push the issue but instead offered to take her to another store. Duckett declined and said she just wanted to go home.

The Good Samaritan says once she pulled up she even checked to make sure it was the right home.

"I said, 'Ma'am you sure you live here?' She said, 'Yeah I'm just seeing if I want to keep stretching my legs and walk to this corner.'"

With that reassurance, Settled said she drove off, only to turn back around to double check.

"Something said, 'Go back.' I went back, she was nowhere to be found."

Settles says she's told deputies everything she knows because she has nothing hide and just wants Duckett to be found safe.

"I gave them their first lead and I felt good about giving them that lead because it put them a step closer."

Settles says she plans to join the family as they continue searching from Duckett this Saturday.


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