Missing woman found alive

Published 8:34 am Tuesday, May 24, 2022

A Meherrin woman who has been missing for the past eight days has been found alive.

Prince Edward County Sheriff Tony Epps released a statement Monday afternoon, May 23 stating that Aletha Gee Walton, age 69, was found approximately 1.3 kilometers from her home.

According to the release Walton was found in a densely wooded pine forest with a thick underbrush at approximately 10:52 a.m., Monday, May 23. She was immediately assessed by emergency medical personnel from Meherrin Volunteer Fire & Rescue and transported to Centra Southside Community Hospital for further evaluation.

“This has been incredibly challenging, but we are thrilled to be able to provide the family the best possible outcome. I have spoken with the family and they relayed their appreciation to everyone involved in the search for their loved one,” said Sheriff Epps.

Aletha Gee Walton, was last been seen at her home in the Simplicity area of Prince Edward County on Sunday, May 15. The search for her was launched the evening of Tuesday, May 17, immediately following the discovery of her disappearance by the family and their notification to the Sheriff’s Office.

“Today we had search teams, including dogs, from Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Virginia State Police, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office, and Virginia Search and Rescue Dogs,” said Sheriff Epps.

“Finding Mrs. Walton took the combined efforts of today’s searchers and all of the ground and air support we have had from the beginning,” commented Sheriff Epps. “Over the weekend and all of last week, personnel from numerous state agencies including the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Corrections, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Law Enforcement Division, and the Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation were involved in the search. The Virginia State Police Aviation Division provided air support, as did Doug Jackson, private aircraft owner and pilot.”

The Sheriff’s Office was also supported by trained search and rescue personnel through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Search & Rescue Program – Piedmont Search & Rescue, K9 Alert, Blue & Grey Search Dogs, Blacksburg Rescue Squad, Virginia Search & Rescue Dogs, Christian Aid Ministries, Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group, Tidewater Search & Rescue, and Commonwealth Search & Rescue.

Additionally, almost seventy first responder personnel from Prince Edward, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Rockingham Counties representing the Meherrin, Hampden-Sydney, Darlington Heights, Rice, Kenbridge, Keysville, Victoria, Drakes Branch and Charlotte Court House Volunteer Fire Departments, Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad and Rockingham County Fire & Rescue were on the ground all day Sunday. The Sheriff’s Office search was supported by Prince Edward County Emergency Management and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.