GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office says a Cheshire woman was called in as missing around 3 p.m. Monday after last being observed near the Ohio River walking away from a domestic dispute.
“Deputies had a call about a domestic situation from residents (of an area where the woman in question was last seen) there on (State Route) 7,” Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said. “When deputies arrived, they determined, based on witness statements, that Tamela had left the scene on foot.”
Browning said witnesses lived right across State Route 7 from the Ohio River. Allegedly, there was light traffic at the time of the incident in question and minimal background noise. Family members thought they heard Tamela June Simpson, 33, of Cheshire, and recent newcomer from Dayton, near the area of the river. When Simpson’s brother went to check on her, he was unable to locate her.
Members of the Gallipolis Volunteer Fire Department, along with Gallia County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, checked the area for several hours and were unable to locate Simpson.
“We had some weather situations that came in that probably didn’t help,” Browning said about Monday’s hard rains. “Unfortunately, a lot of these search scenes aren’t in perfect condition (with rains), but we did get our teams together to respond.”
Simpson is described as a white female, 5 feet, 2 inches tall. She weighs around 125 pounds. She has blonde hair with purple highlights. She reportedly has green or hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue cheetah print shirt with gray leggings and no shoes.
“We try to work these cases as best we can with the manpower that we have,” Browning said. “I did speak with a search group. They’re going to be in the area to help us. We searched throughout the night. I know that earlier (Tuesday) we were back out in the area just trying to do what we can from the shoreline and around State Route 7. We’re going to be back out in the water again and we’ll also have a shore team that will help us with a volunteer search group.”
The sheriff is asking the public to contact the office with any news about Simpson. Officers ask that if Simpson simply went somewhere to visit a friend to inform them.
“Because she was (near the river) and we feel like the family feels very strong that something may have happened, we feel we were justified with going ahead and entering (Simpson) into the missing persons database,” Browning said.
If the public has any information, they are asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (740) 446-6555.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.