UPDATE: A 7-year-old Johnson County boy has been found safe after an Endangered Child Alert was issued for him. Chief Investigator Shawn Brown confirmed that Emmitt Mahala has been placed with the Department of Children’s Services and that the investigation is still ongoing.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) announced Tuesday afternoon that Mahala was found by a search team just after 2 p.m.
The TBI issued the alert for Mahala shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday. The TBI had reported he was missing from the Mill Creek Road area of Mountain City and last seen riding his bicycle.
A release from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) states that ground searches immediately began, and the sheriff’s office used drones to assist in the search. Multiple agencies including the TBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol and more assisted in the search.
Mahala was found near Greggs Branch Road in Butler by a ground search team, the sheriff’s office reported.
The JCSO stated that the investigation into the circumstances surrounding his disappearance remains ongoing. As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Mahala was at the sheriff’s office, and JCSO Chief Investigator Shawn Brown said the Department of Children’s Services had been contacted.
Brown told News Channel 11 that the findings of the investigation will be turned over to the district attorney’s office.
Mahala’s family did not want to speak on camera to News Channel 11 but said they were relieved when they learned he was found safe. Chief Investigator Shawn Brown confirmed that Emmitt Mahala has been placed with Department of Child Services and that the investigation is still ongoing.
Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and FBI are assisting the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in the search for Mahala.
Authorities are conducting interviews and gathering information in the area Mahala was last seen, the TBI said.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — An Endangered Child Alert has been issued for a Johnson County 7-year-old last seen Monday evening.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Emmitt Tambridge Mahala is missing from the Mill Creek Road area in Mountain City.
Mahala was last seen Monday evening riding an orange and white bike, the TBI stated. He was reportedly wearing a dark color t-shirt, lime green shorts and red and gray light-up shoes.
Mahala is described by the TBI as 3’10” in height and 65 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on Mahala’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 423-727-7761 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.