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Family offering $5,000 for information on missing man

Smith, Eric G - Missing Cedar Bluff ManBy MELINDA WILLIAMS



CEDAR BLUFF – The family of a Tazewell County man who went hunting in early November and never returned home is now offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to his “location and/or recovery.”

Eric G. Smith, whose 42nd birthday was Dec. 3, was last seen Nov. 8 when he left home early that morning to hunt on property he owns along West Hurt Buggy Road in Cedar Bluff. Family members started searching for him when he failed to return home that evening.

Cedar Bluff Police Department responded after being notified that the family was unable to locate Smith. To date, authorities and volunteers have searched over 800 acres by air and ground, but have been unable to locate the man, so a joint investigation with Virginia State Police was launched into his disappearance.

“Based on numerous interviews with family, friends and coworkers, it is extremely out of character for Eric to just up and disappear,” said Cedar Bluff Police Chief David Mills. “We are still hopeful that we will find him safe and encourage anyone with information about Eric to contact us or state police.”

A long-time employee of Consol Coal Co., Smith is a white male, 6-feet, 1-inch tall, about 210 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes.

Anyone with information about Smith or his whereabouts is asked to call the Cedar Bluff Police Department at 276-963-3975 or the State Police at 276-228-3131 or toll-free in Virginia at 1-800-542-8716. Callers can remain anonymous.