Blount County deputies continue search for missing Maryville woman

Mary Walker (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)

MARYVILLE (WATE) – The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help to find a missing woman.

A neighbor reported Mary Ruth Walker, 69, missing on Thursday. She hasn’t been seen since May 2, but her vehicle is parked at her residence on Butterfly Gap Loop Road.

“I’m really sick at my stomach,” Carolyn Bradburn, Walker’s sister, said.

With Walker being missing for almost two weeks, her friends and family say they are fearing the worst.

“What I’m hearing and what people are talking about, I just have a really bad feeling that something’s happened to her,” Bradburn said.

Friends said Walker lived alone after her husband passed away. She owned a number of properties int he area and was a friendly face in the community.

“Ruth was a fun, loving person,” Helen Abbott, Walker’s friend, said. “She never knew a stranger [and] had no problem talking to people.”

“[She was] always very helpful and nice anytime I needed her,” Liz Reagan, Walker’s friend, said.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said her vehicle is still parked at her home on Butterfly Gap Loop Road.

Her loved ones say she’s disabled and it’s unlike her to travel without telling anyone.

“She would not leave her home and go off and not tell people where she’s at,” Brandburn said. “It’s just really a bad feeling.”

Walker’s disappearance is raising safety concerns in the neighborhood.

“You’d like to think that you’re safe and since we all know one another that everyone’s on the up and up and good but you don’t know,” Reagan said.

And with no one able to reach Walker, all her loved ones can do is pray.

“I just hope that she will find way to let us know or let someone know where she’s at and if she’s in danger, that they can get to her before anything really bad happens. We have to hope for the best,” Abbott said.

Anyone who has seen or spoken to Walker since May 1 is asked to call the Blount County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit at (865) 273-5001 during normal business hours. You can also leave an anonymous message on the 24-hour crime hotline at (865) 273-5200 or use the sheriff’s office’s Text-a-Tip system.

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