Body of Virginia father who tried to walk home to son during snowstorm found

LOUISA, Va. — The body of a Virginia man who vanished after attempting to walk home in whiteout conditions was found Thursday, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

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Jacob Whaley, 34, told his family on Jan. 3 that he was going to try to make the six-mile trek to his Louisa County home after his vehicle broke down in neighboring Hanover County during the snowstorm that stranded hundreds of drivers overnight on Virginia’s Interstate 95, The New York Times reported.

According to WRIC-TV, Whaley last texted his family at 8:45 p.m., telling his mother that he was lost.

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it had “immediately responded to the family’s request” to check specific areas for Whaley, but their search was unsuccessful, the Times reported.

According to the Times, Whaley’s body was located by a search party comprised of volunteers and sheriff’s office personnel in a “very dense pine population” slightly more than 200 yards off Greene’s Corner Road, where the family had asked the authorities’ search to concentrate.

“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 to the Times on Saturday. “Our county had 100 percent power outage and impassable roads.”

The sheriff’s office, in a prepared statement, offered its “heartfelt condolences” to Whaley’s family and friends.

“Missing Person’s cases are always a top priority for the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, and we share in their grief and sorrow,” the statement read.