A missing person search turned into a grim discovery Monday afternoon when an elderly woman was found dead near her home in Newark.
Wise County Sheriff David Walker said there are no indications of foul play at this time, but the death will be listed as “questionable” until more information is gathered.
Sheriff’s officers, the Newark Fire Department and Wise County EMS began searching the area near the home of Dora Cairns, 82, in the 600 block of Rogers Road, at around 3:30 p.m. Monday after family members reported they had not seen Cairns since around 9 a.m. Email and text alerts with a description of Cairns were also sent by the Sheriff’s Office to residents in the area.
A Department of Public Safety helicopter was brought in to assist with the search from the air, and Cairns’ body was spotted in a grassy area about 500 to 600 yards south of her home around 5:45 p.m.
“It looks like she had gone on a walk south of her residence into a grassy, woody area, like she had apparently done many times before,” Walker said.
It was not immediately clear how she died. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays was called to the scene to pronounce Cairns dead. She ordered her body be sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiners office for an autopsy.
Funeral for Cairns is pending at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.