Sister of Murdered Hiker Pleads for Tips
Reporter: Rachel Schaerr | VIceographer: Daniel Heffner
Amherst Co., VA - Two seasons have come and gone but Alysen Lilly won't let her brother's murder go cold.
"He was a 30-year-old man who was living out a dream by traveling the Appalachian Trail and visiting Civil War battlefields," Lilly described her brother.
The FBI says on June 15, Scott Lilly, 30, of Southbend, Indiana embarked on the Appalachian Trail. His sister says he was on a path of self-discovery and the last few weeks of his life were really paying off.
"He was just really excited about it and I just told him that I loved him and be careful. And he was trying to make us proud," Lilly recalled of their last conversation.
The FBI says on August 12, hikers discovered his partially buried body near the Cow Camp Gap Shelter in the George Washington National Forest in Amherst County. The FBI says his blue or purple backpack, Ozark Trail hiking shoes, and other gear have not been recovered.
They're offering a $10,000 reward in hopes of generating new leads.
"Law enforcement is hoping that anyone who has any information and has failed to report it out of fear or loyalty to the perpetrator will be motivated to contact us," said Special-Agent-In-Charge Michael Morehart at Monday's news conference.
US Attorney Tim Heaphy says there's no information that links Lilly's death to four or five other unsolved murders near Virginia's national forest land.
"But we're paying attention to that question," Heaphy added.
Buried beneath the rugged terrain lies a secret. Lilly's family just hopes it won't stay that way for long.
"We need closure on this terrible crime. So, please if you have any information, please contact the authorities," Lilly said, pleading for tips.
The FBI says they've spoken to several hikers who had contact with Lilly around the time of his death, but would not say whether all of them have been ruled out as suspects.
Anyone who may have hiked in the area, found camping equipment, or had contact with Scott Lilly is asked to call the FBI's Richmond Office at 804-261-1044.