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Search party fails to locate Chigges

The family of Phillip Eugene Chigges, 69, who has been missing since before Christmas, is hoping he is found soon. He lived on Highway 19 north and would often walk down the road, but his disappearance before the holidays is a mystery. UPDATE: Volunteers, including the Georgia Mounted Search and Rescue team, mounted a search Saturday morning to no avail. ”There is nothing new that arose from the search. We are following up on all information both old and new,” sheriff Jimmy Thomas reported Saturday night. ”He would never miss Christmas with us and he would never not call us on Christmas,” said his granddaughter Courtney Martinage. “When he went walking somewhere, he always stayed by the road and never went in the woods. He wouldn’t take a ride from anyone either.” Sheriff’s deputies and investigators have used tracking dogs three different times to search a three-mile radius around his home, with as many as five dogs searching at one time. Heavy rain and strong winds since his disappearance may have prevented the dogs from picking up his scent. All the roads in close proximity to his house have been searched by officers. ”We have searched three separate times using the dogs and have maps of GPS locations where the dogs have already searched,” said Sheriff’s Office investigator Maj. David Neal. “We are doing all we can to find Mr. Chigges and attempts have been made to track any financial record to determine where he has been but so far we have had no results.” Chigges left home without a cell phone and was last contacted by family members Saturday, Dec. 22 by phone. He was not at his home the next day, Sunday, Dec. 23. Chigges is 5 foot, 8 inches tall, 155 pounds and has brown eyes and gray hair. He reportedly has several medical issues – including dementia and bipolar disorder – and needs his medication. Anyone with any information about Chigges is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 770-567-8431 as soon as possible.

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