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Alpharetta Police Investigate Storm-Related Fatality

An elderly woman apparently crawled into a drain pipe in fear of the storm.

Alpharetta police are investigating a storm-related fatality from Friday night's severe weather.

Patricia Barnette, 83, was found dead in a creek near her home, having apparently first climbed into a drain pipe in fear of the storm.

Late in the evening at the height of the severe weather hitting the city, the Alpharetta 911 center took a call from a man saying his elderly wife was missing. 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, according to George Gordon, spokesman for the .

Alpharetta police officers responded to the scene and began to search the area.

At the same time, Alpharetta dispatchers contacted the regional hospitals and the cellular carrier of the missing woman in an attempt to find her location. She was not at any of the hospitals and her cellular device was cut off according to her cellular carrier. The call was cleared after an exhaustive search, Gordon said.

At daybreak, as weather conditions improved, Alpharetta 911 contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and filed a request to activate the statewide “Mattie’s Call” alert system for the missing person.

Additionally Alpharetta police and fire went back at daybreak to speak with the family and use the improved conditions to continue searching under improved daylight conditions. Alpharetta police and Alpharetta fire began another check of the area using approximately 25 public safety personnel.

"Sadly, the missing elderly female was found deceased," Gordon said.

The preliminary investigation indicates she was found in a creek near her home, he said. It appears she may have climbed into a drain pipe in order to take shelter due to fear regarding the inclement weather.

The investigation continues.

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