Family of murder victim searches for answers more than six years later

Unsolved Murder

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - An unsolved murder is back in spotlight after more than six years.

The investigation continues into the death of a man found dead along the Virginia Creeper Trail.

"He was just a good ole fellow. He was just a good brother," Tim Wolfe said of his brother. Tim and Elijah Wolfe last saw their brother John more than six years ago.  

"We feel like this is dead, you know. The case is dead, and we haven't heard nothing from it," said Tim of how the two have felt over the past six years.

John Wolfe was last seen leaving the Food City in Damascus on November 18, 2006. After that, detectives believe he got on his bicycle and was later murdered. "We found his bicycle at a location on the Creeper Trail. Then based up on that find, we started a search of the river and the surrounding area," said James Blevins, the lead detective on the case, and an investigator for the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff's Department.

Wolfe's body wasn't found until January of 2007; it was floating in Laurel Creek, that runs along the Virginia Creeper Trail.

The autopsy shows drowning as John Wolfe's cause of death, but there are still many questions. "Our investigation focuses on how he got into the water, [and] what elements took place that he got into that water," Blevins said.

To this day, the Wolfe brothers believe John Wolfe wasn't killed at the creek; instead they think his body was placed there after the crime.

Gathering convicting proof remains a challenge. Detectives said some witness statements haven't added up. "They want to provide information in order to help themselves out of certain situations. We have to sort through that stuff and what does that do? That holds us up," Blevins explained.

The longer the hold up, the harder it is for a family waiting for closure. "[It's] just like a cloud hanging around your head all the time. You know, you're always just looking," said Elijah Wolfe. 

If you have any information on this case, you're asked to call the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff's Department at (276) 676-6000.

Detectives tell us they are still actively looking at all leads.

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