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  • David Larson / Carolina Journal

Missing Woman Found Safe By Clay County Sheriff's Office

Updated: Jun 27

Sheriff Mark Buchanan

On 06/20/23 beginning at 10:16 PM several urgent calls began coming in to Clay County Dispatch Center concerning a missing 62-year-old woman. Earlier that morning, the woman told her friends that she was going to the Standing Indian area of Macon County which is located within the Nantahala National Forest. Stanton was believed to have been driving a 2013 white GMC Yukon.

As a result of these calls, Macon County Dispatch was notified as well as Clay County Officer Dillon Nelson. Since the Standing Indian area of the Nantahala National Forest was located near the eastern side of Clay County, which consisted largely of Nation Forest, Officer Nelson began a search of the area. Clay County Sheriff’s Chaplin Earl DelValle was riding with Officer Nelson on this dark and rainy evening.

While searching an extremely remote area approximately 5 miles out Deep Gap Road, Officer Nelson saw what appeared to be a faint light down an embankment. This turned out to have been a very steep logging road. Officer Nelson and Chaplin DelValle descended this muddy embankment on foot to find the woman terrified and in her vehicle. The victim was not in need of medical treatment and said she had been stranded there most of the day. After some effort, Officer Nelson and Chaplin DelVelle were able to get the woman up the steep muddy road to safety.

These efforts by Officer Nelson and Chaplin DelVelle are certainly worthy of this Commendation for their determination and service in locating the victim on this dark and rainy night. It is people like this that truly make the Clay County Sheriff’s Office the outstanding agency it is today.

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