UPDATE: Family members of Geneva Atkins said they wish they knew more about the missing persons process before she went missing. Law enforcement walked through the process. One family member expressed the family's devastation on a Facebook Live.

"They did bring Geneva home. Thank God. It's not quite how we wanted the story to end," said Tonya Campbell.

Atkins went missing on April 16, and a deputy found her body in Meigs County about 39 miles from where she was last seen in front of Brown Middle School on Highway 58, while following family members in a caravan. 

Investigators believe she got lost and was in an accident. Her daughter, Campbell, shared the news on Facebook and vowed to push for the use of Silver Alerts in Tennessee.

 
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"There has to be something put in place for our silvers," expressed Campbell.

A 'Silver Alert' is a public notification system to share information about a missing senior citizen with Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, or Mental Disabilities. According to a spokesperson for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Silver Alerts are not used in Tennessee, but 'Care Alerts' are.

A Care Alert can be issued for a missing person that is 60 or older, and may be in danger because of their health, mental health condition, or physical disability. 

The following is the full code for a Care Alert: 

"We notified Meigs County 911, Rhea County 911, to do BOLO's (be on the lookout) from their agency as well," said Lt. Craig Harvey. 

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office quickly put Atkins' information in the National Crime Information Center or NCIC.

"If the vehicle is stopped or located somewhere, if a law enforcement officer runs the tag then it will come back to that law enforcement officer that she is missing and endangered," said Lt. Harvey.

As part of the Care Alert program, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office asked the TBI to create and share a flyer on Saturday.

Atkins' daughter said she wants an alerting system similar to the Amber Alert system to be established for families who may experience what her family has gone through. But she's quick to thank the community and search teams for bringing her mom home. 

"There are no words for how thankful I am," said Campbell.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story. 


PREVIOUS STORY: A Hamilton County woman who has been missing for almost a week has been found dead in Meigs County on Monday night.

An HCSO spokesperson says 83-year-old Geneva Atkins’ body was found around 8:15 p.m., just north of Decatur near the 22000 block of Highway 58.

The spokesperson says initial findings show that Atkins’ pickup ran off the road, crossed a field, and came to rest about 200 yards away from the road after hitting a wooded tree line.

Officials say Atkins suffered from Dementia and a severe case of diabetes. 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: In a Monday afternoon news conference, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office explained their continued efforts to locate 83-year-old Geneva Atkins.

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation plane was pressed into service Sunday.

Search teams have checked nearby parks and lakes as well.

Atkins was last seen Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at about 9:00 p.m. traveling north in the 5800 block of Highway 58 in a gray 1999 GMC Sierra pickup truck with damage to the right front fender, chrome wheels and running boards. The vehicle is registered in Tennessee and the license plate is 158-JSP.

She was last seen wearing a light colored shirt and blue jeans.

Police say Atkins is an African American, 83 years of age, 5’ 2” tall, 135 lbs, with brown eyes and black hair. She is a severe diabetic and suffers from Dementia.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: The TBI has issued a Missing Endangered Adult Alert for Geneva Atkins.

Atkins was last seen driving a 1999 GMC Sierra STL model with an extended cab in the 5700 block of Highway 58 around 9:00 pm Tuesday night, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. 

The sheriff's office says the vehicle is gray in color and has a dent in the front right fender.

The license plate is 158-JSP.

"It has running boards, chrome wheels, no spare tire, and a small dent in the back of the cab next to the third brake light," a sheriff's office spokesperson said.

Law enforcement agencies in the tri-state area have been notified about Mrs. Atkins' missing status. The sheriff's office added that search efforts continue.

"The HCSO has taken all internal law enforcement measures possible as our patrol and investigations divisions continue to help locate Mrs. Atkins," an HCSO spokesperson explained.

If you have any information about where Geneva Atkins is, call 423-622-0222.


PREVIOUS STORY: Time is of the essence for a Hamilton County woman who has been missing since Tuesday.

Family members are now calling for help to find Geneva Atkins.

The 83-year-old was driving in a caravan of vehicles on Highway 58 with her husband and son to the family farm when they say she missed a turn.

"I want ground, I want air. We're encroaching on the 72-hour mark, and so without medication, without water, I don't know what her status is," Atkins' daughter Tonya Campbell told Channel 3 over video chat.

Campbell said her mother is a severe diabetic and is living with dementia and relies on medication which is why she said time is running out.

"I'm looking for assistance with the Civil Patrol Auxiliary. Someone has reached out to me with that, however we are not able to get assistance unless it's ordered by the government officials locally," Campbell added, "I'm sure she's scared, I"m sure she's disoriented. I'm sure she probably doesn't even know her name. I am calling upon the citizens of Chattanooga to help us find Geneva."

Atkins was driving a gray 1999 GMC Sierra with damage to the right fender.

It has a Tennessee license plate number 158-JSP.

She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a white colored top.

If you have any information that can help find her, call the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office at 423-622-0022.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to help find a missing elderly woman.

Geneva Atkins was last seen on Tuesday around 9:00 pm.

She was driving a gray 1999 GMC Sierra with damage to the right fender. The truck is registered in Tennessee, and the license plate number is 158-JSP.

The sheriff's office says Atkins was last seen traveling north near the 5800 block of Highway 58. She was wearing blue jeans and a light colored shirt.

Atkins is described as being 5'2" tall African American female. She weighs about 135 pounds and has brown eyes and black hair.

She suffers from dementia and also is a severe diabetic.

If you see Atkins or know where she is, call 423-622-0022.