Missing Woman Was Facing Drug Trial Next Month

Drusilla C. Atherton, 38
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Lake City (WVLT) -- A woman facing trial has disappeared and left behind a motel room full of blood.

Volunteer TV's Gordon Boyd has the latest on this mystery.

Drusilla Atherton, 38, was last seen Tuesday night in her motel room in Lake City in Anderson County.

Records show she's had drug problems, including a trial for drug possession that was set to begin in Knox County next month.

Police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are trying to figure out if that trial is somehow connected to her disappearance.

"To their knowledge, she knows no one up here, has no friends, no family," said Lake City Chief Jim Shetterly, Jr.

Police say they've no reason why 38-year-old Drusilla Atherton would leave her husband's family's place near New Market on Monday, and drive the roughly 50 miles to check into the Lambs Motel off I-75 in Lake City.

But when the maids came to clean up Room 32 Wednesday, they saw blood.

"There was enough to make it suspicious, the amount that we saw," said Chief Shetterly.

Police say there was blood all over the bed, floor, and bathroom.

But Drusilla was missing.

"We suspect that it's hers. We have no reason to believe it's someone else's," said Shetterly.

Druscilla's mother-in law tells Volunteer TV that she left them a note, indicating she intended to kill herself.

Police confirm there's a note, but won't say what's in it.

Chief Jim Shetterly says neither fellow guests, nor motel employees, reporting hearing any noise, or anything unusual.

"We have nothing at this point to suggest that any kind of homicide or violent crime has taken place, or that she's even harmed herself," said Chief Shetterly. "We just don't know."

Atherton's car is also missing.

It's a black 1995 Toyota Celica, like the one pictured below.

There is damage to the driver's front side and has a Tennessee Plate of 3DD-1640.

"There's no doubt something transpired in this room, to what extent I really don't know," said Shetterly.

Drusilla Atherton has blonde hair and blue eyes, stands about 5 foot 4 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds.

She was last seen wearing a dark jacket and a cowboy hat.

If you've seen Drusilla Atherton or know where she might be, call Lake City Police at (865) 426-7402.

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