Cleveland woman still missing, police search for potential witness
An expanded search continues for a woman from Cleveland, Ga. Who has been missing since New Year’s Day. She still has not been located, but Cleveland Police may have a lead on a potential witness.
Police received a photograph of a late model copper / orange F150 crew cab van seen driving on NOK Drive on January 1 which may have seen Mattie Mizell.
“The driver of the vehicle may have seen our missing person, Ms. Mattie Mizell, walking on the pavement and may be able to provide new information to assist with the search efforts,” the Cleveland Police Chief said, Jeff Shoemaker. “We ask the driver of this vehicle or anyone with knowledge of such a vehicle to contact the Cleveland Police Department at (706) 865-2111.”
Mizell, 69, who police say suffers from dementia, left his residence on White Street on the morning of January 1. She was caught on White County Middle School security camera the same day, walking in a northwest direction.
The researchers searched for Mizell much of Saturday, all day Sunday and Monday, and continue their search until Tuesday. They couldn’t find her.
The search, which originally covered the area surrounding WCMS, has since been expanded to include the areas of Highway 129 North and GA-75 following reports that Mizell was spotted near NOK Drive on Sunday.
“We have moved our research to these areas in the hope that we can find it in the area,” Shoemaker said. “We don’t rule out that she might have been picked up – she might have had a friend or someone she met who might have picked her up and driven her.”
The Police Department received video footage on Sunday showing an individual, they believe to be Mizell, walking along NOK Drive near Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland on Saturday.
On Monday, Cleveland Police, Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Public Safety extended another search team to the Babyland area, where a GDPS helicopter used for the search was grounded.
“We suspect that she may have frequented this area and may have even entered Babyland General, but we cannot confirm that,” Shoemaker said. “We ask anyone who may be in the area or a visitor to Babyland General on January 1 between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to call the Cleveland Police Department.”
Shoemaker says any information they can get on Mizell’s whereabouts could be of help to the investigation.
“You might not have realized you saw something, but you could have seen her in the parking lot, you could have seen her on the sidewalk, maybe get in a car with someone,” he said. Shoemaker said. “Any possible tip is greatly appreciated. “
Hundreds of researchers deployed to these areas over the weekend, continuing through Tuesday. The research team includes personnel from the Georgia State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources, Emergency Management Agency, and Department of Defense, as well as public safety officials from the Cleveland Police and the White County.
Georgia Department of Defense officers are using drones with heat sensors over areas where she may be, as search helicopters are also looking for Mizell.
Cleveland police are increasingly concerned about Mizell’s condition after his possible exposure to winter storms, cold and high winds on Sunday night and Monday, and temperatures fell below zero Monday night.
The Police Department, Mizell’s family, WCMS officials and other involved staff attended a debriefing following the conclusion of Monday’s research. Shoemaker has asked the Cleveland community to continue to look for any signs of Mizell.
Authorities are asking the public to continue monitoring Mizell, who is described as a black woman with dark hair and brown eyes, measuring around five feet three inches and 160 pounds. She was last seen wearing blue pants or jeans, a purple / blue hoodie and blue shoes with white trims.
“The community can help by researching the exterior areas of their property to include garages, porches, shrubs and brush areas, vehicles, or any area that a person can use for shelter in rainy weather,” says Shoemaker. . Additionally, he encourages the public to check the sides of roads, culverts, drains and other areas where Mizell may have gone for shelter.
If you see Mattie Mizell or anything indicating where she is or may have been, please contact White County E-911 at 706-865-0911 or the Cleveland Police Department at 706-348-7078.
WRWH’s Trent Crawford contributed to this report.