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November 15, 2013

Officials suspend search for missing hunter

CEDAR BLUFF, Va. — Officials called off the ground search for a man missing in the remote mountains of southwest Virginia after a fruitless week of canvassing by rescue crews, volunteers, search dogs and helicopters.

Eric Smith, 41, of Cedar Bluff, Va., left home to go hunting around 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 8. His wife reported him missing that evening.

A search focused on Smith's property and a wide area of south Tazewell County, Va., said Cedar Bluff Police Chief David Mills.

The search party included up to two dozen rescue workers, eight search-and-rescue dogs, helicopters and nearly 100 volunteers. Smith's coworkers at CONSOL Energy joined the effort.

Mills said the search was suspended Thursday and probably won't resume until new leads emerge. Authorities continue to look for clues to Smith's location.

Details for this story were reported by the Bluefield, W.Va., Daily Telegraph.

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