By Debbie Hall
The body of a jogger missing for 10 days from Primland Resort in Vesta was located shortly after noon on Monday, according to Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith.
Sheriff’s deputies and Primland employees located the body of Bruce Rubin, 61, off a bluff, or cliff, in the Roaring Creek Gorge, Smith said. He added the location where Rubin was found was not near a marked trail.
Deputies, search and rescue personnel, and rappel teams with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) recovered the body from the gorge by 8 p.m., Smith said.
The body was transported to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke, he added.
Rubin was reported missing when he did not return after going jogging on the resort’s property at 11 a.m. on July 2.
The search that spanned several days attracted up to 150 people at its high point during the July 4 holiday weekend, Smith has said. The number of those searching diminished after “we covered everything” that was navigable on foot.
Specialized rope teams then were called in “because of the rugged terrain and elevation changes,” and to rappel cliffs that were unnavigable any other way, Smith has said. “This terrain is extremely dangerous.”
He estimated that 20 people were involved in the recent search efforts, plus additional manpower from the dog handlers and members of specialized teams.
“We have used every tool available to us” throughout the search, Smith said, adding that has included “multiple dog teams – search and rescue dog teams from throughout the region in both Virginia and North Carolina.”
In addition to the K-9 teams, the effort also has included helicopters and equipment like infrared cameras and drones the sheriff added.
The infrared cameras, which are designed to detect various types of heat, and drones could not be fully utilized due to the thick foliage and a “heavy tree canopy,” Smith has said.
The search also was expanded to various adjacent properties, Smith said. For instance, 3,600-acres of Northbrook Energy LLC property (formerly owned by the City of Danville), the Pinnacles of Dan Aqueduct and the Dan River Gorge, which is sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East, also were searched.
Smith said he learned that Rubin was an “avid trail runner and was training for a marathon” – the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim. The event is described as 48.7 miles long, with more than 10,500-feet of elevation gain accumulated over two climbs, according to online information.
In addition to his office, Primland Resort employees, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Smith said other agencies involved in the search included the Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Patrick County Department of Emergency Management, Patrick County Patriots, multiple volunteer fire and rescue agencies in Patrick County, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, and multiple search/rescue teams in Virginia and North Carolina.