Search for missing Benton County woman hits day four, aerial backup is on the way

Benton County
Toni Rae Atchley, 54, of Benton County (Image via Benton County Sheriff's Office)

RICHLAND, Wash. — Through extreme heat, Benton County search crews are on day four of looking for 54-year-old Toni Rae Atchley, whose vehicle, phone and personal belongings were found on S.R. 240 near the Hanford Site on July 24.

KAPP-KVEW spoke with officials from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, who confirmed that Atchley is considered missing since Friday, July 22—two days before her white 2017 Toyota was recovered on S.R. 240 near Beloit Ave at the Hanford Rattlesnake gate at 1:00 a.m.

Aerial resources from the Washington State Patrol and search crews out of Spokane are responding to the area to help Benton County crews extend their search for Toni Rae. They do not have a feasible reason for why she would stop in the area where her car was located.

Benton County

S.R. 240 near Beloit Ave (Google Maps)

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Crews have focused their efforts on Rattlesnake Mountain since it provides easier access to the Hanford area.

Benton County law enforcement stressed that they do not want any help from concerned community members. Excessive heat makes for dangerous conditions, and BCSO officials do not want anyone else needing rescue while they try to find Toni Rae.

Family and friends have not reported seeing or hearing from her, according to Benton County investigators. They ask that anyone with information to contribute contact them immediately by calling dispatch at 509-628-0333.

This is a developing news story. An update and/or follow-up will be issued as further details are revealed.

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