69-year-old woman found alive in forest after missing for 8 days

Aletha Gee Walton (PHOTO: Prince Edward County Sheriff's Office)

A 69-year-old woman was found alive on Monday in a densely wooded pine forest after she was missing for eight days in Prince Edward County.

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Prince Edward County Sheriff Tony Epps says Aletha Gee Walton was found nearly a mile from her home in a densely wooded pine forest with thick underbrush around 10:52 a.m. on Monday.

She was 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," says Sheriff Epps.

The sheriff’s office learned of her disappearance on Tuesday, May 17 and responded to her residence near Meherrin, Virginia. Multiple agencies assisted with the 8-day search to locate Walton.


"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," says 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 Paul Jackson, private aircraft owner and pilot."