A woman who went over a cliff at Grandview has been identified by her husband as Julie Wheeler, 43, of Beckley.
Rescuers were searching for her after she reportedly fell off an overlook at Grandview Park on Sunday around 8:30 p.m. while reaching for an earring, according to reports. Rescuers were using a rope line and other methods to go over the cliff to search for her.
Wheeler’s husband, Rod Wheeler, verified in a Facebook post on Monday evening that the woman who had gone over the cliff was his wife.
Investigators had not released her identity to the public.
Emergency crews, including those from the National Park Service, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, Beaver Volunteer Fire Department, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, JanCare Ambulance Services, the Beaver Volunteer Dive Team, and the Fayette County Vertical Rescue Team were on the scene, where many even used canines to aid in the search for the missing woman, but were unsuccessful.
Eve West, chief of interpretation for the National Park Service, told The Register-Herald that crews began searching for the missing woman almost immediately after the incident was called in, and searched until late into the night Sunday. Crews resumed the search Monday morning, but as of 5 p.m. Monday evening she had still not been located.
“All we really know at this time is that she’s 43 years old, and she was here (at the park) with her son and her husband,” West explained. “We know that she was wearing a pink shirt and that’s just about all the details we have at this point in time, so, not a lot.”
West added members of the vertical rescue team maneuvered a rope system to rappel on and off the rocks at the overlook. She added there are a lot of steep rocks located off the overlook, and another ledge is located about 40 to 60 feet down beneath it where many rescue members have looked for the missing woman.
“Grandview overlook is the highest point in this park, but it’s not just a straight drop-off. There are a series of ledges down below it,” she explained. “Someone did observe the woman looking over the overlook, and when they turned around and looked back, she was gone.
“That’s really all the information we have right now.”