An elderly Alpharetta woman early Saturday became the first local fatality of the storm that swept metro Atlanta.
Police identified the woman as Patricia Barnett, 83. Her body was discovered in a creek, and police believe she may have climbed into a drain pipe late Friday out of fear during the storm.
George Gordon, a spokesman for the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety, said in a release that police received a 911 call about a man’s missing elderly wife.
“The last contact the husband had with his wife is when she told her husband she was going to take shelter in a closet due to the weather,” Gordon said.
Police said they searched the area and tried to locate the woman, who lived on Pine Grove Drive, by tracking the signal from her cell phone, but the device was turned off.
The search resumed when the weather cleared early Saturday and the GBI was asked to activate a Mattie’s Call for missing elderly people.
Gordon said about 25 police and fire department personnel joined the search. The woman, however, was found dead in a creek.
Barnett’s family told Channel 2 Action News they did not know why she left her home. A neighhor, Afraz Talebi, also mourned the family’s loss.
“She was like part of our family,” Talebi told Channel 2. “I can't imagine what they're going through right now."
Barnett was the only fatality resulting from the storm. A Haralson County man suffered a broken leg when his home collapsed on him late Friday, authorities said.
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