Knoxville family of missing man fear the worst

Knoxville family of missing man fear the worst

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Authorities believe Charles Kenneth Lawson might have been on his way to Knoxville to see family. Authorities believe Charles Kenneth Lawson might have been on his way to Knoxville to see family.
"He keeps saying he wants to go home, and we can't figure out where home is," Botkins said. "He keeps saying he wants to go home, and we can't figure out where home is," Botkins said.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

GREENSBORO, Ga. (WATE) – The Greene County Sheriff's Office in Georgia says a 76-year-old man has been missing since Thursday. 

Authorities believe Charles Kenneth Lawson might have been on his way to Knoxville to see family. 

Lawson suffers from Alzheimer's disease and dementia, according to Capt. Ron Thurmond. 

Lawson was last seen walking out of his home, where he lived with one of his daughters in Union Point, Georgia in Union County. 

Members of his family spoke to 6 News about his disappearance. 

Lawson was born in Rockwood and lived in Knoxville with his wife and family before moving to Georgia.  

For years, Lawson's daughter Karen Botkins says her father battled Alzheimer's, and had constantly spoke about returning home one day.  

"He keeps saying he wants to go home, and we can't figure out where home is," Botkins said.

Lawson lived with his family at a home on Park Hill Circle in West Hills before moving to Georgia in 1980.  

Lawson's wife died in 2011 and is buried at Highland Memorial Cemetery in West Knoxville.

The couple had three sons and two daughters.  

Botkins and other family members say Lawson's condition went downhill rapidly after his wife's death, and they wonder if he physically could have made it to Knoxville.

Knoxville is located 270 miles from Union Point, Ga.  

Bad storms rumbled through Georgia during the four day search period, and on one occasion-- the search was called off.  

"Nobody wants to believe it, because he is getting up there, and he has a big touch of Alzheimer's," said Dorothy Allen, Lawson's sister. 

Allen is an East Knoxville resident. She fears the worst for what could have happened to her brother. 

"I think he's laying down in the swamps dead, because that night a bad storm came through there, and they had to call off the search because of it, as frail as he was, he couldn't have survived that," said Allen. 

To make matters worse, Charles Lawson wore a tracking device that many Alzheimer's patients wear. The family says he took it off on the day of his disappearance.

"It's like he knew what it was at the time, and he took it off," said Botkins.

Authorities released the following description of the man: 5' 09", 150 pounds, white, thin build, brown eyes, and gray hair. He was last seen wearing a red long-sleeve shirt with blue jeans, black shoes, black baseball cap with a Toyota Logo, and silver wristwatch. 

He has dark skin and is part Cherokee.  

If you have any information, contact the Greene County Sheriff's Office at (706) 453-3351.

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