UPDATED: Bath County Sheriff says body had been in woods for three years or more

The Bath County Sheriff's Office received the information Sunday around 6 p.m.

September 04, 2012|David Kaplan/WDBJ7 Web Staff | WDBJ7 Reporter
David Kaplan/WDBJ7

BATH COUNTY, Va. — It's been two days since hikers found a body in the woods of Bath County.

We're still waiting to find out if the remains are Beacher Hackney's, the man accused of shooting and killing his boss and a co-worker inside the Homestead Resort three and a half years ago. 

Investigators were hard at work Tuesday collecting and marking evidence.

Bath County Sheriff Robert Plecker had a team up there, including a medical examiner, and their main priority right now is to identify the body.

Sheriff Plecker told us that authorities recovered a ton of evidence yesterday and he thinks around 65 percent of that evidence will help identify the body.

The sheriff wouldn't go into what specific evidence they were looking for but they did have metal detectors and they were concentrating their search to the areas closest to the body.


He told us his crews were doing a lot of digging and searching for evidence that was at least three inches deep in the ground that would match how long they believe the body has been here.

But for now the Bath County Sheriff’s Office has been in close communication with the forensics team in Roanoke, and they feel they're close to identifying the body.

The Sheriff said the body was so decomposed they haven’t been able to determine yet the gender of it. So it’s not clear how long it will take to identify the body.


Investigators are back at the scene Tuesday where a body was found in Bath County on Sunday afternoon.

The body was found about eight miles from Hot Springs in a heavily wooded part of Bath County.

Bath County Sheriff Robert Plecker told WDBJ7's David Kaplan that they are operating under the assumption that the body was in the area for three years or more before it was discovered.

Plecker says a lot of evidence was obtained Monday, and they are digging down three inches in the area to look for more clues.

The body has not been identified yet, nor has a cause of death been determined.

Bath County investigators have been in close contact with the medical examiner's office.

Plecker says they know a lot more know than they did 24 hours ago.


Original story from Monday

Bath County Sheriff R. W. Plecker told WDBJ7 that he cannot confirm the remains found are those of Beacher Hackney.

Hackney is the man investigators say shot and killed two of his co-workers at the Homestead Resort on March 21, 2009.  Despite extensive searches and national publicity, Hackney has never been found. 

We're told two people discovered the body Sunday afternoon in the woods near The Homestead's lower cascades golf course.    

The Bath County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and US Marshall's were among the agencies collecting evidence.

Most of which will be processed at the Forensic Science Headquarters in Roanoke.

Authorities also told us that they did find clothing near the body but would not comment on any other items that may have been nearby that would indicate someone had been in hiding.


The Bath County Sheriff's Office is investigating the discovery of possible human remains in the southern portion of Bath County.

The sheriff's office received the information from two residents Sunday around 6 p.m.

Stay with for updates.

Speculation rampant about body found in Bath County
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