MONROE COUNTY, Tenn. — On Sunday, detectives from the Madisonville Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office found the remains of 24-year-old Chelsie Walker.
She was first reported missing to MPD on Oct. 31. On Monday, friends of Walker's and community members of Madisonville are remembering her as a "light."
Miranda Waller, a longtime friend of Walker from high school and church, said that Walker had a personality that would light up every room.
"She was a very outgoing and bright, bubbly, smiley person," Waller said. "Chelsie was known for making you feel comfortable and real sweet."
Walker was known in the community for her helping hand. She worked at the Madisonville Walmart, where she would frequently interact with her community as she would assist them.
Waller said the last time she saw Walker was a few days before she went missing. Walker helped her find an item while working.
Walker's closest friends are remembering her for her determination and hard work in moving her family forward. She had previously struggled with substance abuse, but Waller said she was overcoming it and on her journey to sobriety.
Friends say her two children were her biggest purpose in life — always working for them. At the time of her disappearance, Walker had picked up an extra job to make ends meet. She was working six days out of the week at a Walmart and a factory, her friends said.
"All her kids were always taken care of," Waller said. "She protects her kids. And if she ever felt some type of way, you were going to hear about it."
Her missing presence now leaves a hole in her community. Since she was first reported missing, Waller and other friends created a "Justice for Chelsie" Facebook group to help find her.
Since the group was first created about six days ago, it has now almost 2,000 members.
Messages, pictures and stories of Walker poured in by the hour. People from all stages of Walker's life shared how they knew her and what they remember most about her.
Waller remembers her own friend as a fighter and conqueror.
"She was like a real fierce woman," Waller said.
Months before she went missing, Waller said that Chelsie had started attending church regularly and was on a journey of forgiveness, redemption and grace.
"She was in church just a couple of months ago, regularly going through the week," Waller said. "I spoke to a lot of her church members and they say they pray about her and that she'll be missed. That they can tell that she's not there. Now, they can tell the presence is different."
Waller said that family members of Walker have set up a bank account in memory of her at Peoples Bank of East Tennessee called "Justice for Chelsie." She said the account is in the name of Chelsie's aunt and funds will go directly into funeral arrangements and the remaining funds will go to the care of her kids.