December 15, 2011
It's been more than a week since James Alvin Shifflett was last seen or heard from on Dec. 7. After unsuccessful searches last week, police and volunteers are forming a search group to hopefully locate the missing Earlysville man.
The 69-year-old disappeared from his home in the 4100 block of Earlysville Road the night of Wednesday, Dec. 7. His red and white Ford F-150 was found abandoned on a bridge over the Rivanna Reservoir a few miles from his home. The headlights were on and the keys removed.
Previous searches around the South Fork of the Rivanna River have been unsuccessful. Now, the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team and the Albemarle County Police Department will join forces to search a new area this weekend.
"Due an investigative lead, there is a 350-acre they would like for us to search on Saturday," said Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding.
While authorities are not disclosing the location of the farm at this time, they do say Shifflett worked there. The search team will set up a command post at Broadus Wood Elementary School before combing the farm with ATVs and cadaver dogs.
"We have the largest volunteer reserve division in Virginia," Sheriff Harding commented. "We have 50 reservists that are trained in search and rescue, then we have another 50-60 citizens that are sworn deputies that have been trained in search and rescue. They will be out there assisting, too."
Shifflett is described as a white male with brown eyes and gray hair. He is approximately 5'2" tall and weighs around 148 pounds. Anyone who knows about his disappearance is asked to call the Albemarle County Police Department at 434-296-5807 or Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.