LINVILLE GORGE — Burke County officials are looking for a 67-year-old Charlotte woman who has been missing for two weeks, authorities said.
Frances Collett Apperson left her home on May 17 and was reported missing by family members on May 21. She is 5-feet, 2-inches tall, weighs 130 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. She is also deaf, which may make communication difficult, authorities explained.
Apperson’s SUV was found in a parking lot near Linville Falls on May 31. It was covered in pollen and leaves, which indicated that it had not been moved, said Burke County Deputy Fire Marshal Robert Bishop. Burke County Rescue Squad and Burke County Special Operations then began searching around Old. Hwy. 105 near the Linville Falls access, where the officers worked their way down and had a drone team fly over the waterways, Bishop said.
Since she is deaf, authorities said that they are relying on clues and what the searchers can observe. They began with “focus-type” searches and then moved to “aerial grid-type” searches, Bishop explained.
On June 1, an aircraft flew over the waterways to look for Apperson, but she has still not been located, Bishop said.
“We’ll continue to exhaust all leads and resources,” he said.
The following day, crews spent the day searching along trails that were marked areas of interest by the NCSHP helicopter. According to media reports, family members discovered an angel figurine along the trail leading to the Linville Falls during search efforts last week that was identical to one discovered in Apperson’s vehicle by Burke County investigators.
If anyone has seen Apperson or was in the area of Linville Falls/Linville Information Cabin on May 17, or has any information regarding her location, authorities said they should call 911 or Burke County Emergency Services dispatch center at (828) 437-1911.