Questions about Beacher Hackney remain unanswered

Hot Springs, Va. –

A press conference was held on Tuesday afternoon by Bath County Sheriff Robert Plecker on the discovery of the remains of Beacher Hackney. In March 2009, Hackney shot and killed two of his supervisors at The Homestead. Following the shooting he walked out of the hotel and disappeared. His remains were found September 2nd, near The Homestead’s Lower Cascades golf course, about 250 yards off Route 687. After the press conference Sheriff Plecker shared his thoughts on where Hackney’s remains were found.

Sheriff Plecker says there’s no indication that Hackney had any kind of assistance getting away that night.

“All the speculation, if you got in a car and rode down there you surely wouldn’t have got out there,” says Sheriff Plecker. “You’d have kept going. It’s kind of a no brainer to us. Somehow or another, he walked that distance a day, two days, overnight, three days. If you’re familiar with The Homestead like we are, you can walk 220 back to Covington and drop down through the Cascade Gorge. That used to be the connection from The Homestead to the Lower. That’s a two mile walk through that gorge. If you leave Hot Springs and walk around to the Gun Club and walk out the open trail, it’s called the open trail, everybody hunts it. It drops off to the exact same point where he was found. It drops off, cross the road and you’re there. He walked. You know if you walk 220 at night and you hear a car coming, how hard is it to jump behind a tree.”

Sheriff Plecker says they may never know how Hackney died. Hackney’s skull is intact and no spent .380 shell casing was found. In Hackney’s pants pockets, investigators found a pen light, a small pocketknife, and his wallet with ID, but no money. There was also a green water bottle, similar to a Perrier bottle, sitting upright nearby.

“With just the remains that we found and the bones and stuff, it’s obvious he’s been there for probably the duration of this time,” says Plecker. “That would be my guess. This is one of the other things, when we found the pants, the belt was still in the loops, still hooked. It wasn’t like he had taken anything off, all that was together. The shoes, everything we found, it was right there in that vicinity of a 75 to 100 yard radius.”

At the time of the shooting, investigators didn’t search the area around the Lower Cascades. Witnesses reported Hackney going south on Route 220.

“But during that time frame, when I was a deputy, we done door to door searches, but not down there,” says Plecker. “We really had no reason to go down that way. From Hot Springs to Ashwood – I bet you we searched every house and every building and outhouse ten times. We searched the mountain with dogs, I know of twice I was with them. But eight miles out? How in the world can anyone fathom searching that kind of a radius. It’s pure luck how we got him, it’s just pure luck.”

You can hear the entire press conference on our website

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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