SANTA CRUZ - A search for a 70-year-old Santa Cruz woman widened in recent days with a helicopter flight and another car trip to the woman's intended destination in San Diego.

Deanna Brooks was last seen on Aug. 24 by her neighbor on Berkeley Way in Santa Cruz.

Brooks planned to drive south on Highway 101 in her gold Chrysler PT Cruiser for a birthday party that weekend. She and the car have not been found.

Santa Cruz police released its California license plate number, 5EEV387, and said the four-door car is damaged on both the driver side and passenger side.

Brooks is diabetic and has "mild bouts of forgetfulness brought on by medication," according to the Santa Cruz police blog. Foul play is not suspected in her disappearance, authorities said.

Brooks' son, Stirling Flynn, rented a piloted helicopter for an hour on Saturday to search for her. The search provided some insight, he said.

"I flew from Watsonville to Moss Landing to Salinas," Flynn said. "If she'd gone off the road, there would have been a farm worker that saw her. I had no expectation of finding her, but we wanted to see what we could see from the air."

Police said Brooks' bank records show that she has not withdrawn money since Aug. 23. However, Flynn said they have not accessed all of her accounts.

Authorities have entered Brooks' information in a statewide missing persons database.

She is about 5 feet, 3 inches with brown hair and green eyes. She requires a walker to walk.

Saturday evening, a vigil was held at Brooks' workplace at Attilia's Antiques on Soquel Drive. Many people attended and offered their help.

"I really just wanted to thank everyone for the kind words and prayers," Flynn said.

Flynn drove to San Diego on Monday and planned to drive back to Santa Cruz to continue the search. Some of the people Flynn talked to on the journey said they heard about the case from television stations on the Central Coast.

Flynn also spoke about the case on KSCO-AM 1080 on Tuesday.

Santa Cruz police ask anyone with information to call 911, the anonymous tip line at 420-5995 or leave a tip at www.santacruzpolice.com or by the mobile application at http://m.santacruzpolice.com.

Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter on Twitter: @sbaxter--sc

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©2012 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.)

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