On May 17th, Aletha Gee Walton’s family reported that she was missing from her Simplicity, Virginia home and alerted police. The family told authorities that 69-year-old Walton suffers from the early stages of dementia and was last seen the day previous.
Search and rescue crews from across the state mounted an extensive search for her in the forests around her home. Then on Monday May 23'rd, she was found sitting on a stump and singing “Amazing Grace”.
Her sister Sandra said, "Amazing Grace. God was with her the whole time".
Authorities said without her singing they may have missed her. They had been in that area many times.
She was found only 0.8 miles from her home in a densely wooded pine forest with a thick underbrush on Monday morning, eight days after she was last seen,
Walton was assessed by medical personnel before being taken to a nearby hospital. Her family was beginning to think the worst and was relieved and grateful that she was found. "This has been incredibly challenging, but we are thrilled to be able to provide the family the best possible outcome," Sheriff Tony Epps wrote in a statement. "I have spoken with the family and they relayed their appreciation to everyone involved in the search for their loved one."