LOUISA, Va. (WRIC) — New information from the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office has shed light on what occurred during the search for Jacob Whaley, the man who disappeared during Monday’s snow storm.
According to a press release from the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, they received a report from Whaley’s family on Monday, Jan. 3 that Whaley had crashed his car and was attempting to walk six miles back to his home in Louisa County, but had become lost on the way.
Whaley sent one last text to his family at 8:45 p.m. that night, and was not heard from again.
At the time, family members told the sheriff’s office that he might be in the vicinity of Greene’s Corner Road. The sheriff’s office today said they “immediately responded to the family’s request to check both the roadside area along Greene’s Corner Rd, the roadways in between and his residence.”
That search proved to be fruitless. Then, on Jan. 6, three days after Whaley disappeared, a search party made up of civilian volunteers and sheriff’s deputies discovered Whaley’s body – just 200 yards from Greene’s Corner Road.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Jacob Whaley,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Missing Person’s cases are always a top priority for the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office and we share in their grief and sorrow.”
Whaley’s family members told 8News they were frustrated with the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, and believed they should have done more to help Jacob Whaley.
“I’m so angry with this county,” said Shannon Whaley, Jacob’s mother. “All they had to do was go out and holler for him.”
“Louisa County let him freeze to death,” said Jacob’s sister, Angela Whaley.
She said the search party came out to help and do what the sheriff’s office didn’t do, and added that she was in shock and devastated over her brother’s death.
“Because of their refusal to do their jobs my parents have to bury another kid,” she said.
Whaley’s car was found in the early morning hours of Jan. 4 on Mt. Olive Road in neighboring Hanover, near the Spotsylvania County line.
Cell phone data from a tracking service Whaley used called Life 360 showed his last known location in Louisa County.
However, Whaley was entered as missing in Spotsylvania County on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and the sheriff’s office there told 8News they filed the case as a “courtesy report,” although “there was no jurisdictional grounds for [Spotsylvania] to investigate.”