PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, Va. — Days after disappearing from her Virginia home, Aletha Gee Walton was found alive sitting in the woods.
Walton, 69, was described as “aware and alert” after her rescue, less than a mile from her home in Prince Edward County, authorities told NBC News.
Walton hadn’t been seen since May 15, but the search for her began May 17, when her family discovered she was missing and contacted police, NBC News reported.
“I was so glad it was a happy ending,” Deidra Knight, Walton’s niece, told WTVR. “At first, I didn’t know what to think, I was thinking of the worst. But when they said she was OK, I was so thankful, so thankful.”
Walton is living with the early stages of dementia, her family told WTVR, thus prompting increased concern for her well-being.
Officers from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources are credited with finding Walton in the woods. In a Facebook post, the department said a K9 unit successfully tracked Walton and then gave her food and water while waiting for rescue crews to take her to the hospital.
Walton’s family told WTVR she was sitting on a stump and singing “Amazing Grace” when she was found.
“Amazing Grace. God was with her the whole time,” Sandra Knight, Walton’s sister, told the station. “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.”
©2022 Cox Media Group