24-year-old Chelsie Walker disappeared around Halloween. She was later found dead on November 6 in rural Monroe County.
MADISONVILLE, Tenn. — A Madisonville mother who went missing and was later found dead will be remembered Saturday.
Biereley-Hale Funeral Home announced memorial arrangements for Chelsie Walker. Madisonville Funeral Home said it will hold a memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at its chapel at 4650 Highway 411.
24-year-old Chelsie Walker disappeared around Halloween. About a week later, police found her remains in a remote part of Monroe County. The Madisonville community came together earlier in November to honor Walker and help her family.
Tracy Smith, Walker’s mother gave a heartfelt speech about her journey searching for her child from the moment she realized she was missing.
“I broke down because yeah, that’s my baby, you know,” said Tracy Smith, Walker’s mother. “Just want her home.”
It being Halloween, Smith said, she knew something was wrong when she went to work that day. She called and texted her daughter. After going to the police, she started looking for her.
“We drove around and went everywhere we could put these flyers up,” Smith said.
About a week later, Smith said police told her they found her daughter’s body, but she didn’t let go.
“I just kept hoping,” Smith said. “I thought, you’re wrong, you’re wrong. My baby is coming home.”
The community gathered in Kefauver Park to honor Walker’s life and help with funeral expenses and Walker’s two children with donations. Smith said this place was their hangout and where they celebrated Walker’s Sweet 16 birthday party.
The Madisonville Police Department’s Detective Division notified the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office of their findings and a joint investigation was launched into her disappearance.
According to an affidavit filed in Monroe County General Sessions Court, a man named Andrew Young faces a charge related to the case: fraudulent use of a debit card. He is also charged with multiple counts of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Nov. 3, deputies arrested Young and booked him into the Monroe County Jail on the charges.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies said in the affidavit they were investigating Walker’s disappearance, saying she had left a Walmart in Madisonville with another man on Oct. 29. Walker’s vehicle was found abandoned in the store’s parking lot.
The deputy said Walker was seen getting into a vehicle with another man, whom he identified as Hayden Millsaps. The deputy spoke with Millsaps, who said he picked Walker up and they went to Young’s home on Sawmill Road in Tellico Plains.
The affidavit said Young told investigators that Walker and Millsaps had arrived at his home on Oct. 29, which was the last time she was reported to have been seen by anyone.
The deputy said they ran a check on Walker’s bank card and discovered it was used to purchase gas at a station on Highway 68 in Tellico Plains. Police said they reviewed surveillance footage from the gas station and saw Young use the card, saying it happened around 1:19 p.m. the same day Walker disappeared.
The deputy said Young did not have consent to use the card to make the purchase.
After executing a search warrant at Young’s home, deputies said they found a meth lab in a dryer in the home as well as a handgun. Young is scheduled to appear in court on the fraudulent card charge on Nov. 15.
According to MCSO, Millsaps was also arrested and faces charges unrelated to Walker’s death.
Officers said they are waiting for a full autopsy to be performed before considering other charges in their investigation into Walker’s death, and said it could be until December before they get results.