Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 10, 2013

Family offering $5,000 reward for information on missing Tazewell County hunter


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

TAZEWELL, Va. — Eric G. Smith of Cedar Bluff, Va., would have turned 42 years old last week. Instead of celebrating his birthday with him, family members spent their time building a reward fund to persuade the public to come forward with information concerning his whereabouts. They are now offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to Smith's location and/or recovery, according to the Virginia State Police.

Smith was last seen Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. According to family, he headed out early that morning to go hunting on his property along West Hurt Buggy Road in Cedar Bluff. When he failed to return home that same evening, family members began searching for Smith and eventually called 911. The Cedar Bluff Police Department responded and initiated a search effort and, with the ongoing assistance of the Virginia State Police, a subsequent investigation into his disappearance.

Smith is 6 feet 1 inch in height and weighs approximately 210 pounds. He is a white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He has been a long-time employee of Consol Coal Company.

“Based on numerous interviews with family, friends and coworkers, it is extremely out of character for Eric to just up and disappear,” said Cedar Bluff Police Chief David Mills. “We are still hopeful that we will find him safe and encourage anyone with information about Eric to contact us or state police.”

To date, under the direction of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), more than 800 acres have been searched by air and on the ground by community volunteers, family, Consol Coal Company's Mine Rescue Team, Cedar Bluff Police Department, Tazewell County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police.

Anyone with information about Smith or his whereabouts is asked to call the Cedar Bluff Police Department at 276-963-3975 or the Virginia State Police at (276) 228-3131 or toll-free in Virginia at 1-800-542-8716. Anonymous calls will be welcomed.