Jacob Whaley, a 34-year-old Virginia man, was found dead Thursday night after he tried to walk home during the snowstorm that hit the state Monday, according to authorities.
Whaley reportedly crashed his truck in a ditch Monday evening, and decided to try to walk the six miles back to his home, according to WRIC 8News.
Around 8:45 p.m Whaley texted his family that he was lost in the woods and his cell phone’s battery was low, according to WRIC. After his family called authorities, the Louisa County and Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Offices searched along the road where he was believed to be traveling later that night.
The truck was found early Tuesday morning in neighboring Hanover County, and searches were conducted in the following days, with no results.
Late Thursday night, a search party of law enforcement and civilians reportedly found Whaley’s body in an area of thick woods about 200 yards away from Greene’s Corner Road, the same road officers searched Monday night.
WRIC also reported that Whaley’s family said they were upset with how Whaley’s disappearance was handled, when officers told the family that after his truck was found in Hanover County, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said they couldn’t send officers to search because it was out of their jurisdiction.
“I’m so angry with this county,” Shannon Whaley, Jacob’s mother, told WRIC 8News. “All they had to do was go out and holler for him.”
The family reportedly had difficulties registering him as a missing person because of confusion among law enforcement about where the report should be filed, and who should search for Whaley in what areas as he went missing near the point where Louisa, Hanover, and Spotsylvania Counties meet.
The winter storm that hit Virginia Monday left cars stranded on long stretches of Interstate 95 for anywhere from 16 to 24 hours after a truck crash blocked hundreds of cars and stopped snowplows from reaching the area to clear the roads.
Whaley’s cell phone died, the sheriff’s office said. Based on Whaley’s last communication, the relative believed Whaley might be near Greene’s Corner Road.
The sheriff’s office said the vehicle was located in a neighboring county, where officials reported him missing.
The sheriff’s office said Whaley’s death was directly related to the storm.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Jacob Whaley,” the sheriff’s office said.