A well-loved member of the metro Atlanta’s triathlon community dies suddenly leaving behind her husband and twin infant sons. On top of it, the couple’s beloved dog escapes during the chaos. Now, the community is coming together to in an all-out effort to find it.
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Bethany Rutledge, just 37, was looking forward to her sons’ first birthday next month when she died in her sleep August 3rd from an aneurysm. As friends and family came to support her husband, John, the following day, Bailey, the couple’s 11-year-old Vizsla, escaped.
“With all the commotion of people coming in because of the death, she got out. She’s probably just as shocked as everybody else,” longtime friend Rogue Hale tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Hale is part of the community of triathletes the Rutledges were a part of. The couple founded the Atlanta Triathlon Club and often trained with Bailey by their side.
That community, led by a close group of friends including Hale, have organized searches, posted hundreds of signs and flyers, and gone door to door looking for Bailey.
“We were able to get some of Bethany’s shoes and we started putting up scent stations all along the Silver Comet Trail,” says friend Kim Spence.
The group also has a couple of professionals assisting in the search, and hopefully eventual capture, of the dog.
Bailey has been spotted several times within a five-mile radius of her home and searchers are concentrating on the areas of Smyrna and Mableton from Atlanta Road by West Village over to the Silver Comet Trail off the East-West Connector and the Vinings Estates area.
The group is asking anyone who spots Bailey not to approach her but take a picture and send it in along with the location. Tips can be called in or texted to 404-414-5784 or shared via the “Find Bailey Rutledge” Facebook page or the Nextdoor app.
Longtime friend Karen Garland says it would be something positive to come out of a tragic situation.
“Bethany would stop at nothing to find Bailey and I think that’s the shared attitude. Whatever it takes to find Bailey—we’re going to find her. And I don’t think anybody is going to stop until that day happens,” she says.