Simplicity, W. – A 69-year-old woman from Virginia, who went missing last week, was found alive Monday in a dense pine forest less than a mile from her home, a local sheriff said.

The search for Aleta G Walton began on May 17, when her family discovered she was missing and warned authorities, according to a statement from the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office online. Walton was last seen at her home in the Simplicity area two days earlier, officials said.

Search and rescue organizations and agencies from across the state joined the Walton search, and she was found about 0.8 miles from her home in a dense wooded forest with thick bushes Monday morning, eight days after she was last seen. the sheriff’s office said. Walton was immediately evaluated by medical personnel and taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

Authorities do not provide additional information about her condition and do not say why she ended up in the woods.

Aleta J. Walton in a family photo without a date, presented by the office of the Prince Edward County Sheriff

Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office (Virginia).

“It was incredibly difficult, but we are very happy that we can provide the family with the best result,” Sheriff Tony Epps said in a statement. “I talked to the family and they conveyed their gratitude to everyone involved in the search for their loved one.”

“Thank you Jesus. It was a great blessing, it really was,” – Rita Allen, girlfriend, said CBS Richmond, Virginia affiliate of WTVR.

“At first I didn’t know what to think, I thought about the worst. But when they said she was fine, I was so grateful, so grateful, “said Walter’s niece, Deidre Knight.

The Walton family said she suffers from early-stage dementia.

“We just broke down and cried, all of us. We didn’t know what to think. We thought someone had kidnapped her or something. We didn’t know what happened,” said Sandra Knight, Walton’s sister.

Absent from home for more than a week in extreme heat and stormy weather, her family said she was sitting on a stump and singing Amazing Grace when she was discovered.

“Amazing Grace. God was with her all the time,” Sandra said.

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