By | January 17, 2024

**Tragic Accident Claims Life of Fairlawn Woman in Giles County Cave**

In a heartbreaking turn of events, a woman lost her life while exploring a cave in Giles County, Virginia. The incident took place on January 12, 2024, and has left the community in shock.

The Giles County Sheriff’s Office received a distress call at 4:13 p.m., reporting that a female had fallen approximately 100 feet within a cave in the Staffordsville Community, just outside of Pearisburg. Deputies from the sheriff’s office, along with the Pearisburg Fire Department and Giles Rescue Squad, rushed to the scene. However, they quickly realized that specialized resources were required to carry out the rescue operation. The Celco Emergency Response team and Blacksburg Rescue Squad’s Technical Rescue Cave team were called in and provided invaluable assistance.

Despite the valiant efforts of the rescue teams, they tragically discovered the lifeless body of a female inside the cave. The victim was identified as 38-year-old Autumn Nicole Draper, a resident of Fairlawn. Chief Deputy Scott Moye of the Giles County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Draper was not wearing a helmet or using appropriate rappelling gear. It is important to note that the cave where the incident occurred is located on private property.

The rescue operation extended into the early hours of January 13, with personnel finally clearing the scene after 1:00 am. Giles County, situated near the West Virginia state line and west of Roanoke, is a tight-knit community that is now grappling with the loss of one of its own.

As the investigation into this tragic incident continues, the Giles County Sheriff’s Office is urging the public to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines when venturing into caves or engaging in similar activities. While caves can be alluring and offer unique experiences, it is crucial to prioritize safety and use appropriate equipment to minimize the risk of accidents.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of Autumn Nicole Draper during this difficult time. The loss of a loved one is always devastating, and our community stands united in support..

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