HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — High Point police have found a body believed to be that of Heddie Dawkins nearly a week after she disappeared from her High Point home.
Tuesday evening, officers responded to the 2300 block of Hickswood Road a short distance from Dawkins’ home. Police say foul play is not suspected.
Officers did not share any additional details.
Dawkins, an 81-year-old woman with severe dementia, disappeared more than six days ago when she vanished in the early morning hours of Wednesday on the 2700 block of Blockhouse Court.
Dawkins’ family told FOX8 that she lived with one of her daughters and she had never disappeared like this before.
Police say Dawkins was seen leaving her home on foot at about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday from the 2700 block of Blockhouse Court.
Dawkins’ doorbell camera reportedly showed Dawkins walking of the home and then seemingly trying to get back in.
She was reportedly wearing light blue pajamas and slippers. She is described as a black woman with a height of 5-foot-5 and a weight of 180 pounds. She has medium-length black and gray hair and brown eyes.
She was spotted on a doorbell camera on the 2900 block of Cloverwood Drive.
“She does show to have blood on her face and her head where we suspect she has an injury, possibly from a fall,” O’Toole said Wednesday.
A runner reported they saw Dawkins on the Greenway near Deep River Road, according to FOX8 Reporter Lauren Crawford.
Dawkins’ daughter went to look for her mother, but she wasn’t in her room like she normally was.
Dawkins’ family reported her missing, and a Silver Alert was issued.
Search teams focused on areas they could get to quickly, such as roads, trails and backyards, so they could cover the most ground. Teams were primarily searching a one-mile radius around her home.
“There are fewer crews out searching tonight. Many have gone home to rest up, so they can pick back up tomorrow morning. But a few officers have infrared drones in the air, hoping to spot Heddie.”FOX8 Reporter Caroline Bowyer
No new tips came in overnight.
High Point Police Capt. Patrick O’Toole says they had 60 to 70 officers helping Thursday, and teams are using drones, ATVs, kayaks, motorcycles and bicycles to cover more ground.
The search expanded to areas that are more challenging to reach, such as waterways and the more heavily-wooded areas from Eastchester Drive toward Deep River Road, including greenway areas and the Piedmont Environmental Center.
“It’s kind of hard moving through those areas,” O’Toole said Thursday. “Some of those areas are heavily wooded and it’s slow progress.”
High Point police ask people in neighborhoods near Blockhouse Court to check any storage buildings or fenced-ion yards or patio areas, adding, “It is possible Ms. Dawkins found an unlocked building or gate and wandered inside.”
Friday, Aug. 26
Over the course of 2 days officers were joined by other public safety personnel in an extensive searchHigh Point Police Department
area that eventually extended out to a 3-mile radius before operations were scaled back. Officers from various assignments will continue a presence in the area during the course of their duties while also responding to other calls for service. Officers will also continue to respond to and check any reported sittings of Ms. Dawkins. That activity will be examined by a crime analyst to determine any additional patterns or areas of focus that may develop.
Sunday, Aug. 28
Dozens of volunteers and family members searched around the 1600 block of Penny Road, near a home where Dawkins was spotted on security camera footage.
The search team found a piece of fabric on a fence along the 1600 block of Penny Road. High Point police say the fabric was shown to Dawkins’ family and they confirmed it is consistent with the type of clothing she was wearing. The High Point Police Department’s lab cannot confirm if the fabric belonged to Dawkins, but they did receive it.
Monday, Aug. 29
The police chief and several High Point officers returned to Dawkins’ neighborhood to check yards and other nearby properties.
The department announced that it would be hosting a flyer response on Tuesday and began soliciting volunteers to help.
Tuesday, Aug. 30
More than 100 High Point police officers and volunteers distributed flyers door-to-door to make sure more people knew what Dawkins looks like in the hopes of discovering a lead.
“Even though we’ve been all over the area for the past six days, it’s amazing the number of people who maybe still don’t have an idea or they haven’t kept up with it,” High Point Police Chief Travis Stroud said Tuesday. “So hopefully today is our day and we find Ms. Dawkins.”
Some members of the community put out gift bags with Dawkins’ name on them. The bags contain water, juice and snacks, with a message — “Heddie, stay here. It’s safe here!” — in the hopes that she might find them.
“We want to find Ms. Dawkins alive,” Stroud said. “Until we’re told differently I’m going to approach it like she’s alive.”