Search enters second week for missing Halls man with dementia


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Loved ones, detectives and volunteers continue searching for a missing Halls man with dementia. Monday marked the eighth day since his disappearance.

Jackie Harrison is 77-years old and was separated from his family at the Walmart in Halls on Nov. 17.

He has several health issues, including dementia, which require medication. Last week the Knox County Sheriff’s Office issued a SILVER alert.

Detectives with KCSO say Harrison was last seen on video at the gas pumps in the Walmart parking lot headed toward Norris Freeway.

Sheriff Tom Spangler is asking the public to call 911 if you see someone fitting the description of Mr. Harrison.

He was last seen wearing jeans, a polo shirt, a brown jacket and possibly a baseball hat with a Broncos emblem on it.

More: Family of missing Halls man continues praying for his safe return home

KCSO investigators say they’ve had hundreds of tips since Mr. Harrison’s disappearance including some as far away as California.

KCSO’s aviation team has been out extensively searching for Harrison, utilizing heat sensing technology.

“Anybody that’s lost, especially an elderly person, it lays real hard on my heart,” search volunteer Roger Wood said on Monday.

Clayton Park off Norris Freeway has become a makeshift volunteer headquarters with fliers and details on where to look.

“I started watching it on the news and it started laying on my heart to get out and help,” Wood said.

Many of the volunteers don’t know Harrison, and they don’t know his family.

“But it could be my family. It could be my neighbor, my grandfather or father and it’s important that the community comes together,” volunteer Hannah Nichols said.

Nichols says she’s been out searching for Harrison since Saturday morning, “We had been searching just about everywhere that we can. We’ve been going in a five mile radius all around where he was last seen.”

Volunteers have been looking for traces of Harrison in neighborhoods, nearby businesses and wooded areas.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office suggests:

  • Check your barns, outbuildings, creeks and any vehicles on your property
  • Monitor your security cameras, and go back to check the footage of the night Mr. Harrison went missing
  • Continue sharing Mr. Harrison’s picture
  • Talk with your neighbors about his disappearance because not everyone watches the news or is on social media

“I’m worried that we haven’t found any good solid leads right now. It’s like he disappeared without a trace,” Nichols said.

To help organize their search efforts, volunteers are tying purple ribbons as markers to show where they’ve searched.

Volunteers say they wish there was more they could do.

“It’s getting to where it’s cold out here looking for him, and we know he has to be cold too. We just want him home where he belongs,” Nichols said.

“I just, I pray that he comes home safe. God’s with him,” Wood said.

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