Missing Marine’s car found in Buchanan

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BOTETOURT – Botetourt County Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a 30-year-old U.S. Marine whose vehicle was found abandoned September 22 south of Buchanan off U.S. 11. Sheriff Sprinkle identified him as Stephen M. Wolchok, 30, who is assigned to a Marine Corps installation in Jacksonville, N.C., and said that Wolchok has ties to Birmingham, Ala., and Blacksburg, Va.

Immediately after the vehicle was reported in the parking lot of the Valley View Baptist Church, electronic checks indicated no wanted notices reported regarding it, and it had not been reported stolen, Sprinkle said.

The Botetourt County query, however, triggered a response from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama, where the Marine’s father, Gregory Wolchok, had reported his son as missing, This resulted in a telephone call from the father to Sprinkle’s office in Fincastle yesterday (September 27). That contact provided the information that the missing man has a sister who is attending Virginia Tech.

Shortly after Gregory Wolchok talked with Major Delbert Dudding, resources of Botetourt County Emergency Services and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, which were being pulled off an unsuccessful search for a missing man in the Troutville area, were re-directed to the area on Lee Highway, north of the I-81 Exit 162, where the vehicle was reported by church personnel, Sprinkle said.

The man being sought is described as being  5’7’’ tall and weight is 150lbs, with short brown hair and blue eyes. Also, he has a fairly obvious “strawberry birthmark”  on the left side of his face between his nose and mouth. He was last seen wearing a “white-ish grey T-shirt, and denim slacks or jeans. Any person having seen him is asked to contact the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office at 473-8230.