Reconstruction of Victim
Unidentified White Male
On May 27, 1987, highway workers discovered a partially decomposed body along 81 South, Mile Post 183. The victim died as a result of a gunshot wound to the right side of the head and right side of the body. Handwritten notes in the victims pocket referred to a truck and trailer number and the trucking firm of J.B. Hunt Trucking Company out of Lowell, Arkansas. A check of this company revealed that John Swartz was operating a tractor-trailer through Virginia at this time.
John Swartz, who was convicted in this homicide, left Little Rock, Arkansas on May 16, 1987 with a load of toys to be delivered to Edison, New Jersey. Along the way he picked up "Chris" at the Petro Truck stop in Wytheville, Virginia, four to five hours away from this destination. At the truck stop, Chris told John he had been stuck at the truck stop for two days without food. Chris stated he was trying to get to an uncertain location to go camping. John made an offer to pay Chris for unloading his truck. They arrived in New Jersey on the 18th of May and he paid Chris fifty dollars for unload help. Chris bought food and a small folding knife with this money. An argument ensued over money with Chris demanding $100 and several of Swartz's personal items in the truck. Chris threatened to turn in John for having an unauthorized rider, and at some point put John's name and truck company in his pocket. The next day they got another load, and started back toward Arkansas. While at a truck stop in Raphine, Virginia, Swartz said that Chris pulled out his knife, and made threats of harm if he did not get more money or Swartz's personal items. Around 4.00 a.m., several miles down Interstate 81, Swartz pulled over to the shoulder, and told Chris that he had to relieve himself. Chris got out and at this time, was shot and killed. The next morning Swartz discarded Chris' possessions and continued on to Arkansas. Swartz died in prison.
The accuracy of the sketch is unknown; it was compiled with the aide of the killer.
The victim was gathering camping supplies for a hike on a trail (believed to be the Appalachian Trail). Victim misspelled simple words.
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Virginia State Police - BCI
First Sergeant George Gibbs
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