January 8, 2022
Petition to
ACLU Virginia and
Signatures: 6,059Next Goal: 7,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Sara Young

(Events as told to me by the Whaley family, as well as things I personally witnessed)

***On the evening of January 3, 2022 Jacob Whaley was on his way home from work, after giving his boss a ride home due to inclement weather. Around 5 pm Jacob's vehicle slid into a ditch. He attempted to get a tow truck and was unable to find anyone willing to help. Jacob then contacted family letting them know that he was going to walk to his home. 

At 8:46pm Jacob's mother Shannon Whaley received a text from her son that stated "Im lost". Shannon immediately attempted to reach Jacob on his cellphone, which went to voicemail. Shannon repeatedly text and called his cellphone, in hopes that he might re-enter a zone with cell service.

At 9:11pm, Shannon frantically called the Louisa County Sheriff's Office for help. This would be the first of many failed attempts to get their assistance in locating Jacob. Louisa County Sheriff's Office returned her phone call, stating that they would be sending someone to the home to check if he had made it. She is unable to make it out of her home due to the storm. She is trapped, unable to search for her son....

At 9:43 Shannon received a phone call from LCSO (Louisa County Sheriff's Office), stating that they would not be going down the driveway...

While waiting to hear back from LCSO, Shannon reached out to family and friends. Jacob's sister Angela was able to get the location that his phone had last pinged. They tried to reach out to any locals they knew, to see if they could find anyone to look for Jacob. 

**Jan 4 2022**

12:41am Shannon called LCSO again to check on the status of her missing son, to let them know that she still could not get in contact with him, and that the situation was becoming much more dire. She shared with them the last known location that his cell phone pinged at. They returned her call 12 minutes later, and after her desperate pleas for them to check again if he'd made it home, they agreed. LCSO stated that it might take up to an hour for them to go out to the house. She begs for them to take him missing seriously. She knows something is very WRONG.

1:21am Jacob's mother called LCSO and spoke with Deputy Hart, who told her that he would contact neighboring counties Spotsylvania and Hanover County's Sheriff's Office.  His reason being that Jacob's truck was not in the driveway, and the truck's last known location was at those county's lines. Now, this is where things start to really not make sense for us.. Because obviously the location of JACOB should've been of higher priority than the location of his truck. *His* last known location was in Louisa county. Remember, we know this because his sister saw which cell tower his phone had most recently gotten signal from! Deputy Hart claimed that Spotsylvania County had located his truck, still in the ditch where he had left it but Hart claimed that "it was still warm" (which we now know is simply not possible). 

5:41am Shannon called LCSO for the fourth time requesting to file an ~OFFICIAL~ missing person's report and plead for help.

11:22am Jacob's mom called the Virginia State police because she'd yet to receive any additional assistance from LCSO.

~During this phone call, she is told that "If a 34 year old man WANTS to go missing, he can". It is still unclear why they would have had the impression that a man with ZERO history of such behavior, would "want to go missing" on FOOT during a snow storm, after texting his mom "I'm lost". ... ? 

11:27am Call to Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office. Spotsylvania now claims that this case is not their jurisdiction. 

At this point the roads are finally cleared enough for Jacob's mom to leave her home in Stafford county. She and a couple of Jacob's friends and family start searching the area for him.

2:25pm Marks the EIGHTH time Shannon is in contact with Louisa County Sheriff's about her son. They are unable to provide her with any update at all.

11:40pm Called LCSO once again. Still, nothing...

**Jan 5 2022**

8:47am Reaches out to LCSO regarding the status of missing persons report. Shannon is told at this point that their systems are down. 

10:16am Call to LCSO for status update.... They have no new information 

10:30am Friends and family begin contacting media outlets and various missing persons organizations to increase their search party numbers. LEO have not yet joined their search efforts.  

3:43pm Call to LCSO wherein Shannon is told that an official missing persons report actually ~HAD NOT~ ever even been filed for her son! At this point, he has been MISSING for almost 48 hours... They tell her "We can do it now, the system is back up" (Although for the record, we later learn that they *still* didn't!) 

4:40pm Shannon makes a phone call to Hanover and begs for help AGAIN. At this point she is distraught and worried sick because she has the realization that no one wants to do their job. Hanover tells her that it is not their jurisdiction. Because of this, they have not been able to help as they did not RECEIVE PERMISSION from Louisa County! It is the fourteenth time that she has called and gotten no where.

6:27pm Hanover Sheriff's office calls and offers their "assistance"..

9:30pm "Courtesy Report" is filed with Spotsylvania County Sheriff's. Jacob's sister Angela signs this paperwork to release his photo and information to the public.

**Jan 6** 

Search party number slightly grows as more friends, neighbors, and community members join in the search for Jacob. Volunteers spend majority of their search efforts in the area in which Jacob's phone last pinged, and where they saw his footprints in the snow. 

4:32pm LCSO asks for some of Jacob's clothes for them to bring out tracking dogs. (Though they never did) 

5:00pm Jacob's body is located in the woods by a volunteer, .114 miles from the general proximity of his last known location per cell tower ping.

Yes, you read that correctly... Jacob was less than a quarter mile from the spot in which his family begged and pleaded with Law Enforcement to look for him. 

The family was informed by search party members.

LCSO did not reach out to the Whaley family and have yet to provide ANY transparency about their shortcomings. There was precious time lost that was quite literally life or death. Because the tri-county police departments were unable to choreograph, implement and execute a plan of action. 

This is UNACCEPTABLE and we need to let them know that. Please sign and share. This family needs answers. This community needs to know what will be done differently in the future to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring.


We hope to encourage higher priority and a more rapid response time in missing person cases, better communication between jurisdictions and to address the lack of resources and assistance provided to the Whaley family during the search for their loved one. 


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Support now
Signatures: 6,059Next Goal: 7,500
Support now