69-year-old Aletha Gee Walton was missing in Virginia for eight days. Her loved ones were especially concerned about her well-being because she has early stages of dementia.
Police began searching for Walton on May 17th, 2022, after her family couldn’t find her anywhere. Her neighbors had last seen her at her home two days prior, but no one knew where she’d gone off to. The worries of family and friends worsened as days went by with no sightings. Yet, that didn’t stop officers from searching with the help of their loyal K9.
Newest Officer Joins the Search
One of the crews searching for Walton was the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources’ Conservation Police. Officer Chaffin and K9 Molly recently returned after graduating from the DNR K9 School. As soon as they came home to Virginia, they joined the search for the missing woman.
“We just broke down and cried, all of us. We didn’t know what to think. We thought somebody had kidnapped her or whatever. We didn’t know what had happened,” said Walton’s sister, Sandra Knight.
During the search, Virginia experienced extreme heat and stormy weather, so Walton had to face that on her own. After a few days of searching, Molly helped her human teammates locate Walton, who was about 0.8 miles from her home in a heavily wooded area. She was sitting on a stump alone, singing the song “Amazing Grace.”
Walton Returns Home Safely
Medical personnel assessed Walton after she was found, and then she was sent to Centra Southside Community Hospital for further evaluation. She was exhausted and dehydrated, as expected. Authorities didn’t release details about her health or how she ended up in the woods, but she seems to be doing okay.
“I was so glad it was a happy ending,” said Walton’s niece, Deidra Knight. “At first, I didn’t know what to think, I was thinking of the worst. But when they said she was okay, I was so thankful, so thankful.”
It’s been a rough week for Walton’s family, but they all agree that Walton’s return is a miracle. They can finally relax and take a deep breath now that they know she’s safe.
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Thank you to K9 Molly and all the incredible members of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Without their hard work and dedication, Walton could still be missing. Molly did an especially great job for a dog that’s new to her role. Hopefully, she gets extra belly rubs as a reward!
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