Officials suspend major ground search for missing Chesapeake woman

Officials suspended the major ground effort to find 77-year-old Juanita Coleman, who went missing in Chesapeake.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- Officials tell us they've suspended a major search for a woman suffering from dementia who went missing in Chesapeake nearly two weeks ago.

Sometime between 3 and 6 a.m. on June 3, police say 77-year-old Juanita Coffield left her residence in the 1800 block of Benefit Road. Police say while she left on foot, she may have tried to hitch hike.

Police canvassed the scene, but K9 officers were unable to locate her. After more than a week searching for Ms. Coleman, authorities canceled the search.

However, they are continuing to investigate her disappearance.

Coffield was last seen wearing a pink shirt and purple pants. She is 5'5", weighs 115 pounds, has brown eyes and gray hair. Police say she is known to wear a faux pearl bracelet, a cross pendant, and one to three necklaces.

Virginia State Police have issued a Senior Alert to aid in Chesapeake PD's search.

On Sunday, June 4, a command center was set up at the fire station on Benefit Road near Coffield's home where she went missing.

Mark Eggeman, the Search and Rescue Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said they're using resources in the air, as well as crews on the ground including horses, dogs, and people on foot.

Crews searched a 6-mile radius of where Coffield went missing.

At the time, Eggeman said there was no timeline on how long the command center would stay out there. It depended on how thoroughly the crews search the area with the resources they have.

The crews were made up of a combination of state and local law enforcement, as well as other volunteer organizations. 

Chesapeake Police ask if anyone locates Ms. Coffield to call Chesapeake Police at 757-382-6161 or 911.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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