Buffalo, New York
Casey Maccarone’s mother was always a superwoman of sorts, but still, when Monique Alexander decided to go out on Christmas Eve, Maccarone was worried.
It would have been a simple decision any other day, but a blizzard erupted — one that would leave some parts of western New York under more than 20 inches of snow.
Maccarone was already feeling anxious when she viewed reports of store closures on Facebook, she told CNN.
But her mother wanted to go out and Alexander, 52, said she would be right back and leave without mentioning where she was going. Maccarone, who had lived with Alexander since August, said she just assumed her mother was trying to get to the shops before they closed.
Alexander never came back. Her body was found just a few hundred yards from the house.
“We were waiting for her to come home. However, I knew right away something was wrong, so I more or less accepted it right away, but it’s hard to know she was out for that long too, because no rescuers were allowed to come out,” Maccarone said, speaking outside of her family . Wednesday at home.
Alexander had been through severe storms before and she walked everywhere.
“She’s always felt superwoman and invincible, so I guess she just thought she could handle the conditions,” Maccarone said. ‘I can’t really tell my mother anything, she’s going to do what she wants to do. I suppose she thought she was strong enough.’
She heard cries for help during a deadly winter storm. Her actions saved a life
Alexander left around 3:00 PM. After a few hours, Maccarone posted about her mother to a Facebook group for Buffalo residents weathering the increasingly disastrous weather. About 15 minutes later, a stranger texted her and described her mother’s jacket and jeans. She confirmed it was Alexander and asked him if he had seen her.
“Can I call you?” Maccarone said he asked her.
Once on a video chat, he immediately broke down. The man told her that he was stranded and was out walking when he saw Alexander in the snow. He pulled her body out of the elements, under the canopy of a place where she wouldn’t be buried under snow.
Later, the National Guard would retrieve her body. Alexander is one of at least 37 people killed in Erie County, 17 of whom were found outside, officials have said, though they add that the total is almost certain to rise.
Maccarone said the family had lost their rock and someone they could rely on for anything.
“My kids, they lost their grandmother, and that was her most important role in her life… being a good grandmother,” she said. “And now they only have memories.”