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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Body of Virginia man who abandoned vehicle in snowstorm is found

A blocked road in Hanover County, Va., during the snowstorm on Jan. 3.

By Isabella Grullón Paz

The body of a Virginia man who tried to walk home after his vehicle had broken down during a snowstorm this past week has been found, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The man, Jacob Whaley, 34, informed his family Monday that he was going to try to walk back to his home in Louisa County after his vehicle had broken down in neighboring Hanover County during the snowstorm, which stranded hundreds of drivers on Interstate 95 in Virginia.

Whaley last texted his family at 8:45 p.m., according to WRIC-TV, telling his mother that he was lost. His family informed the Sheriff’s Office that they believed Whaley was possibly near Greene’s Corner Road.

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it had “immediately responded to the family’s request to check both the roadside area along Greene’s Corner Road, the roadways in between and his residence” but that the search had proved fruitless.

On Thursday, a search party made up of volunteers and members of the Sheriff’s Office found Whaley’s body in a “very dense pine plantation” just over 200 yards off Greene’s Corner Road.

“This was a very heavily wooded area off the road that the search team had a hard time getting through,” Maj. Ronnie Roberts, chief deputy for the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, said in an email Saturday. “Our county had 100 percent power outage and impassable roads.”

Speaking to WRIC, Whaley’s family members expressed frustration with the Sheriff’s Office, saying they believed it should have done more to find Whaley.

“I’m so angry with this county,” said Shannon Whaley, Jacob Whaley’s mother. “All they had to do was go out and holler for him.”

“Louisa County let him freeze to death,” said Angela Whaley, Jacob Whaley’s sister.

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