Childhood Pastor Talks About Hiker Found Dead
Amherst Co., VA - The death of a hiker discovered along the Appalachian Trail has been ruled a homicide.
The medical examiner's office says Scott Lilly of South Bend, Indiana died of suffocation in a remote area of Amherst County.
Hikers found his body on August 12 near the Mount Pleasant National Scenic Area.
For the first time, we're hearing from someone who knew Lilly.
Lilly's childhood pastor says Lilly was not an experienced hiker but a Civil War buff who came to Virginia to visit Civil War sites. Craig Clapper says Lilly decided to go hiking afterward to "find" himself. About a month or so later, his mother reported him missing.
"The only thing she had said was the conversation she had with him when he was on the trail were the happiest and best conversations she had with him in a long time. He was just so excited and happy to be living on the trail," said Clapper.
The pastor introduced Lilly to the Appalachian Trail. He says in his 20 years of hiking, he's never had a problem with fellow hikers. Lilly went by the trail name "Stonewall."
The FBI is leading this investigation.