Found Deceased VA - Eric Wayne Pennington, 47, Smyth Counity, 06 June 2024

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mlhenn

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According to the Smyth Co. Sheriff's Office, 47 year-old Eric Wayne Pennington was last seen fishing on Jerry's Creek Trail.

He hasn’t been seen since June 6.

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Pennington was last seen Thursday by his friends, whom he was camping with in Skulls Gap, and is considered endangered.

He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark hoodie and a black or blue ball cap.

Pennington is in poor health and had help from his friends getting from their camp to a creek bed on Jerry’s Creek Trail.

Pennington’s friends noticed he hadn’t returned to camp Thursday night, but didn’t become concerned due to their plan, Smith said. The group went to get supplies Friday morning, according to Smith, and realized Pennington had never made it to his home.
 

Pennington was last seen Thursday by his friends, whom he was camping with in Skulls Gap, and is considered endangered.

He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a dark hoodie and a black or blue ball cap.

Pennington is in poor health and had help from his friends getting from their camp to a creek bed on Jerry’s Creek Trail.

Pennington’s friends noticed he hadn’t returned to camp Thursday night, but didn’t become concerned due to their plan, Smith said. The group went to get supplies Friday morning, according to Smith, and realized Pennington had never made it to his home.
"Smith said Pennington and his friends had a plan in place due to his poor health, which was if he was unable to get back to their camp, he’d hike down the trail to a neighborhood in Rowland Creek, where he’d ask a resident for a ride to his home.

Pennington’s friends noticed he hadn’t returned to camp Thursday night, but didn’t become concerned due to their plan, Smith said. The group went to get supplies Friday morning, according to Smith, and realized Pennington had never made it to his home

The group then returned to the area they left Pennington to fish at so they could search for him. The friends searched for Pennington on Friday and again on Saturday to no avail, according to Smith.

Then on Sunday, Sgt. Smith said one individual walked the entire approximate 5-mile trail searching for Pennington. Once that person made it from Skulls Gap to the neighborhood in Rowland Creek without any sign of Pennington on the trail, they phoned the sheriff’s office."

I wish his friends hadn't waited three and a half days to call LE. If Pennington was possibly too weak to make it back to their campsite and potentially had to walk to a nearby neighborhood to ask for a ride home, where do they think he could have gone where he'd appear in a day or two??
 
I can't imagine them thinking he'd just walk up to a stranger's home and ask for a ride. Certainly, if a man unknown to me came up to my home with that request I'd be calling LE to come assist him. That they didn't call for assistance, given his health immediately raises a lot of red flags for me. His criminal history here, some felony history but nothing recent. Looks like he had his driving privileges revoked/suspended. Virginia Judiciary Online Case Information System
 
"Smith said Pennington and his friends had a plan in place due to his poor health, which was if he was unable to get back to their camp, he’d hike down the trail to a neighborhood in Rowland Creek, where he’d ask a resident for a ride to his home.

Pennington’s friends noticed he hadn’t returned to camp Thursday night, but didn’t become concerned due to their plan, Smith said. The group went to get supplies Friday morning, according to Smith, and realized Pennington had never made it to his home

The group then returned to the area they left Pennington to fish at so they could search for him. The friends searched for Pennington on Friday and again on Saturday to no avail, according to Smith.

Then on Sunday, Sgt. Smith said one individual walked the entire approximate 5-mile trail searching for Pennington. Once that person made it from Skulls Gap to the neighborhood in Rowland Creek without any sign of Pennington on the trail, they phoned the sheriff’s office."

I wish his friends hadn't waited three and a half days to call LE. If Pennington was possibly too weak to make it back to their campsite and potentially had to walk to a nearby neighborhood to ask for a ride home, where do they think he could have gone where he'd appear in a day or two??
Um, thats the weirdest story I’ve ever heard. Makes zero sense and is sus as heck!!
 
I can't imagine them thinking he'd just walk up to a stranger's home and ask for a ride. Certainly, if a man unknown to me came up to my home with that request I'd be calling LE to come assist him. That they didn't call for assistance, given his health immediately raises a lot of red flags for me. His criminal history here, some felony history but nothing recent. Looks like he had his driving privileges revoked/suspended. Virginia Judiciary Online Case Information System
Im not so concerned about his criminal record, more so with his supposed friends.
 
I can't imagine them thinking he'd just walk up to a stranger's home and ask for a ride. Certainly, if a man unknown to me came up to my home with that request I'd be calling LE to come assist him. That they didn't call for assistance, given his health immediately raises a lot of red flags for me. His criminal history here, some felony history but nothing recent. Looks like he had his driving privileges revoked/suspended. Virginia Judiciary Online Case Information System

We don't know that he was a stranger to those in that neighborhood. There are some communities or neighborhoods so rural that everyone knows everyone. If that's what this community was, then it's possible everyone there knew the guy. But I agree that the friends not reporting him missing until Sunday is sus AF.

MOO
 
Very weird. If he's in poor health, why is he fishing by himself?

The "plan" is also odd. If can't make it back to camp, they think he'll be able to hike into a neighborhood and ask for help?
 
I can't bring anything here, but judging by the comments from family & locals - Eric's death is suspicious. Ultimately, the truth will come from the SCSO investigation & the COD determined by the ME.
 

His obituary.

Eric Wayne Pennington, age 47 passed away on June 22, 2024.
 

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