By ANNE ELGIN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
CEDAR BLUFF, Va. —
Authorities have suspended the search for a Tazewell County hunter who was reported missing more than a week ago.
The ground search was suspended Thursday and probably will not resume until any new leads come about, said Cedar Bluff Police Chief David Mills.
Eric Smith, 41, of Cedar Bluff, left his home around 10 a.m., Nov. 8, to go hunting. His wife reported him missing around 8 p.m. that evening. Smith works for CONSOL Energy and Smith’s co-workers have volunteered their time to search for their friend. CONSOL Energy also volunteered their search and rescue team. State police, local police and fire departments, crews with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, helicopters and search and rescue dogs also provided their services in the search for Smith.
“We have searched the acreage Smith owned, and from Claypool Hill into Richlands and Cedar Bluff,” Mills said.
The turn out of search and rescue personnel and volunteers has been tremendous, Mills said.
“We have had eight search and rescue dogs and four days of flying (helicopters) searching for Smith,” Mills said.
Anywhere from 40 to 92 volunteers at times and 15 to 25 search and rescue personnel were searching for Smith. Mills said officials continue to search for clues regarding the man’s location. He said the police department also has received several calls and tips from the public.