Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 11, 2013

Family offers $5,000 reward in hopes of finding missing hunter

CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — A hopeful family is now offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to the location or recovery of a man who went missing while hunting last month in Tazewell County.

Eric Smith, 42, of Cedar Bluff, was reported missing by his wife on Nov. 8 when he did not return home from a day of hunting.

Community volunteers, family, Consol Coal company’s mine rescue team, the Cedar Bluff Police Department, the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police and Virginia Department of Emergency Management personnel have searched by both air and ground for Smith.

“Based on numerous interviews with family, friends and coworkers, it is extremely out of character for Eric to just up and disappear,” Cedar Bluff Police Chief David Mills said Tuesday.

More than 800 acres were searched over a span of 10 days for Smith.

“We are still hopeful that we will find him safe and encourage anyone with information about Eric to contact us or state police,” Mills said.

People may know something and not know how valuable their information might be.

That’s why they are asked to contact the proper authorities, Corinne Geller, public relations manager for the Virginia State Police, said.

“The family is very hopeful that with the reward, someone will offer more tips for police to investigate,” Geller said.

Tips continue to come in and police are investigating leads as they are called in, Geller said.

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 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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