Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 31, 2013

Family ups reward for hunter hunter

CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — The family of a missing Tazewell County hunter is now offering an $8,000 reward for information concerning his whereabouts.

Eric Smith’s family has raised the reward money and is offering the reward with the hopes that the increase will encourage the public to come forward with information concerning Smith and his whereabouts, according to Corinne Geller, public relations director for the Virginia State Police.

Smith, 42, of Cedar Bluff, Va., was reported missing by his wife on Nov. 8 when he did not return home from a day of hunting. Despite days of searching for the man by dozens of search and rescue teams and volunteers, he remains missing.

“We encourage people to come forward with any little piece of information that they may have, it might just be the missing piece of the puzzle,” Geller said.

Tips have been rolling in but so far nothing has been generated from it, Geller said.

“When a solid tip comes in, it’s possible that another search would be initiated,” Geller said.

“As one can only imagine, Christmas was a sad and difficult time for the Smith family as they continue to worry about their loved one,” Cedar Bluff Police Chief David Mills said. “His absence during the holidays only heightens the family’s concern about Eric’s safety and whereabouts, as he would not be one to miss out on celebrating Christmas with them. That is why the family has worked so diligently to increase the reward and hopefully entice someone to come forward with a tip as to where he might be.”

The Cedar Bluff Police Department and Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Wytheville Field Office continue to search and investigate Smith’s disappearance.

Smith is 6 foot 1 inches tall, approximately 210 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about Eric 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. Geller said anonymous calls are welcome.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com

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