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Missing woman turns up in Albuquerque

A woman gone missing from the Pagosa Springs area on July 20 was reported Monday to be in the Albuquerque area, leading local law enforcement officials to call off a search that has been going on for more than a week.

According to Det. Scott Maxwell of the Pagosa Springs Police Department, the woman, 26-year old Cassandra “Cassie” Chalkley, left a phone message for her mother over the weekend that indicated she was in Albuquerque and seeking assistance from her stepfather for car trouble.

Maxwell stated that Chalkley’s name has since been removed from the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) missing persons computer list. He also stated that Chalkley left no indication as to why she left the Pagosa area, why she did not tell friends where she was going, nor why she left her belongings and medication (for a heart condition) behind when she took off unannounced.

The saga began last Sunday, July 19, when Chalkley (AKA “Moonflower”) walked away from friends camped in Town Park. The next day, law enforcement became involved with a police dog used to track the woman’s whereabouts. By Tuesday, Maxwell reported that the woman’s path had been tracked to the far east side of town where the trail went cold, presumably after she found a ride out of town.

Maxwell said on July 23 that evidence collected through use of a department bloodhound, as well as several, additional witness interviews led him and fellow officers to believe Chalkley hitchhiked from the area on U.S. 84.

The detective said witnesses saw Chalkley at two eastside convenience stores Sunday evening and another witness indicated he saw the woman hitchhiking on the southbound highway.

According to Maxwell, further investigation into the case led officers to believe that Chalkley had left the area and it was then that law enforcement entered the woman’s information into the NCIC missing persons data base.

With the call this weekend and assurances from Chalkley’s mother that the woman appeared to be doing fine, local law enforcement removed Chalkley’s information from the NCIC data base and called off the search.

“Apparently, she’s alive and well in Albuquerque,” Maxwell said. “We’re just glad she’s doing OK.”

jim@pagosasun.com