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Charles Pittman
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Police at the scene where a body was found in a creek near Bonny Oaks Drive.

An 85-year-old man who suffered from dementia and wandered away from his home Sunday afternoon was found dead in a creek Monday morning, according to police.

Charles Pittman was found by passing motorists around 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot at Redoubt Soccer Complex at the corner of Volkswagen Drive and Bonny Oaks Drive, just across the road from the entrance to Enterprise South.

Relatives told police that Pittman walked away from their home on Chase Hunter Trail in Ooltewah between 10 a.m. and noon Sunday, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. The family searched for two hours before calling for help from authorities.

The spot where Pittman was found is about three miles from the family's home. He was wearing blue jeans and a plaid shirt when he was discovered, according to police.

Pittman, who had Alzheimer's, had walked away from home before, relatives said. Once before, he was found near Hamilton Place mall, according to Janice Atkinson, spokeswoman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Police said there were no signs of foul play in Pittman's death but that it was not clear how long the body had been in the water or how the man had died. Temperatures dropped into the mid-30s overnight Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The body was taken to the Hamilton County medical examiner to determine how Pittman died.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas.

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