MONROE COUNTY, Tenn. (WNCN/WATE) — An East Tennessee community is left in shock after a young mother’s body was discovered in rural Monroe County.
For the past week, members of Chelsie Autum Walker’s community have banded together in hopes of bringing her back home.
“Chelsie was a young woman, she was a wonderful mother, she was a very sweet person, she was kind, she loved dressing up,” said friend Madison White. “She was just authentically herself.”
Walker, 24, was last seen on October 29 at the Walmart in Madisonville where she worked, according to Madisonville police.
The mother of two was reported missing two days later and was also spotted at a home in Tellico Plains, which is about five miles from the North Carolina border, police said.
During the next few days, people from across Tennessee shared her story, organized searches and hoped to bring her home.
Unfortunately, one week after Walker was reported missing, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced Walker’s body had been found in a rural part of Monroe County.
As Walker’s community works to bring the person or people responsible for her death to justice, they are also working to raise enough money for a proper burial and service. Two people have been arrested in the case, according to Madisonville police.
“We just want to raise money to give her a beautiful headstone, a place where her babies can go see her. It’s important we give them a place to go talk to their mom, to give her flowers,” said Stephanie Presley, a friend of Walker’s.
A Facebook group that was created during the search for Walker, which is now called “Justice For Chelsie,” is being used to keep community members updated on investigations, donations, and service news.
According to organizer Miranda Waller, a bank account has been created in honor of Walker at the Peoples Bank of East Tennessee. Funds donated to that account are meant to be used to organize a burial service, purchase a headstone and raise money for Walker’s family.
There are also donation jars scattered across Monroe County that will be used to support the family.