Deputies released a delta alert in the search for 90-year-old Goldie Hall, and a highway patrol helicopter searched the area Thursday afternoon. That search was suspended after 30 minutes because of mechanical problems.

Firefighters were called to her residence at 2065 Highway 24 in Gales Creek, near Newport, and say the fire was contained mostly to the kitchen. 

Broad and Gales Creek Asst. Fire Chief Drew Guthrie said firefighters were concerned Hall was inside, but they did a sweep of the home and didn't find anything. But later Thursday night, Hall was still missing.  That's when Carteret County deputies put out an alert, asking the public's help to find Hall.

"There's no words to describe it," neighbor Anna Willis said. "I just can't understand what has happened to her."

Investigators recovered Hall's cat, Buttercups, from inside the home Thursday. Willis said it isn't like Hall to leave the cat behind.

"She would've gotten in touch with somebody before now because of the cat," Willis said. "She was crazy about Buttercups. Buttercups was her life."

Willis also said Hall is very sharp for her age.

Deputies say Hall was last seen inside her home on Wednesday. Friends and relatives searched the nearby cemetery where Hall often takes walks, but did not find her.

Hall is described as a white female, 5-foot-2 and approximately 100 pounds. She is believed to be wearing a red and white shirt and red pants at the time of her disappearance. She cannot drive a car at this time.

Anyone with information on Hall is asked to call the Carteret County Communications Center at (252) 726-1911 or the Sheriff’s Office at (252) 504-4800.