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Virginia man who tried to walk home in snowstorm found dead

Jacob Whaley’s body was found Thursday. He last told his family he was going to try to walk home after his car broke down amid a winter storm Jan. 3.
/ Source: Associated Press

LOUISA, Va. — A Virginia man who tried walking home after his vehicle broke down in last Monday’s winter storm has been found dead, authorities said.

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that Jacob Whaley’s body was found Thursday in dense woods about 200 yards (meters) off a road.

Whaley’s family told deputies that his vehicle broke down, the sheriff office said. He told a relative that he was going to try to walk to his home, but feared he had gotten lost.

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 deputies immediately responded to check the roadside area along Greene’s Corner Road as well as other nearby roadways and the area around his residence. Deputies said they checked multiple times over the next few days.

The sheriff’s office said the vehicle was located in a neighboring county, where officials reported him missing. Whaley was eventually found by a search party that included citizens and sheriff’s deputies.

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.