From Easter egg hunt to manhunt, the search for Charlie Ried

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- The family of Charlie Ried spent Easter Sunday praying for a miracle.

The 80-year old, who suffers from dementia, had last been seen nearly three days before, when he left his West Knoxville home for choir practice.

Since then, police, friends, and family have been on the hunt for him, hoping to bring him home safely.

"Not knowing is very, very hard,” said Rosemary Ried, Charlie’s wife. "My fear is that something bad has happened."

According to Rosemary, Charlie has Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease that results in eventual memory loss.

“He was only allowed to go to the two places he knew really well, the church, and my daughters,” she said. “Otherwise I drove or someone else would take him."

Charlie has disappeared before, but never for three days and never without medication.

"He always had the presence of mind to let someone know to call us, so this is very unusual," said Linda Millis, his stepdaughter.

On Sunday there was no egg hunt as family members continued their man hunt for Charlie.

"We're just trying to cover as many bases as we can,” said Darryl Millis, Charlie’s stepson-in-law, “as you can imagine, it's huge."

Nearly 72 hours after he went missing, the family had already searched Knoxville and had mapped out a plan for the county and beyond.

Church members also passed out hundreds of signs with his picture and information on them at Easter morning services.

"You just reach a point in your gut when you feel like you've got to do something," said George Anderson, who helped design and post the signs across Knoxville. “Now I'm a dilemma because I don't know where the most effective place to put more flyers would be."

Even though he remains missing, the communities love for Charlie is not.

"I was just overwhelmed by what everyone has done,” said Rosemary. “I didn't realize how much people do care."

"Easter Sunday is a day of miracles, so hopefully it will happen today,” said Darryl.
Unfortunately it didn’t, and as a new week was set to begin, Rosemary sat waiting for Charlie to call.

“I've got to keep thinking that way, or I couldn't keep going," she said.

Charlie Ried is 5’10, about 165 lbs with brown eyes and gray hair.

He was last seen driving a 1999 white Dodge Caravan with a Dogwood Arts Festival plate on the front.

If you have any information about his disappearance, please call the Knox County Sheriff's Office at (865) 215-2243.


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