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Sister pushing for answers in January 2023 disappearance of West Virginia man Eric Stewart

The 51-year-old was last seen at his home in Beverly, West Virginia. 

“The night before, he was really lively and making jokes,” Valerie Morral told Dateline. “He went to bed early. I remember that night.”

It was January 11, 2023 — the last time Valerie saw her brother, Charles Eric Stewart. The 51-year-old has been missing for eight months.

Valerie told Dateline that she and her siblings grew up in Beverly, West Virginia. She said that Eric is the youngest and was adopted by their mother when he was just 2 years old. “He was born on the White Mountain Apache in Arizona,” Valerie said. “His adopted name is Charles Eric Stewart, but we always call him Eric.”

Valerie describes her brother as a joyful person. “Happy, always happy, always laughing,” she said. “Would do anything for anybody.”

Eric Stewart
Eric StewartValerie Morral

Despite Eric’s happy spirit, Valerie said her brother has also had his fair share of struggles. “He was an alcoholic. He would go years at a time sober. He was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, so he had that against him,” she told Dateline. “He could only read, like, on maybe a second-grade level.”

At the time of his disappearance, Eric was living at his mother’s house in Beverly. Valerie said all of the siblings were actually staying there at the time. “We were all there at my mother’s house right after she passed away,” Valerie said. Their mother died the month before Eric disappeared.

Valerie said she saw her brother on the night of January 11 but when she got up the next morning, he wasn’t there. “[My sister] went to the farm to feed her animals, and I got up and got ready,” she said. “I thought he was with her, and she thought he was with me.”

But Eric was nowhere to be found.

Valerie told Dateline that a passerby spotted her brother on January 12 around 11 a.m. -- about 50 yards from their mother’s house on the main road. That was the last time he was seen.

Eric Stewart
Eric StewartValerie Morral

According to Valerie, the sisters waited a week to see if Eric would return. But when he didn’t, they reported him missing to the Beverly Police Department.

The Randolph County Prosecutor’s Office told Dateline that they could not comment on Eric’s case at this time due to it being an active investigation.

Valerie told Dateline that because of Eric’s challenges, she believes he may have been put in a vulnerable situation. She said many rumors have swirled about what may have happened to him. “He trusted people he shouldn’t have trusted a lot of the times,” she said. “He had inherited money from my mother and the story came across that they were trying to get money from him.”

Valerie said that she believes strongly that the money might have been the cause of Eric’s disappearance.

Another rumor, Valerie said, was that Eric may have gone to stay with his birth family in Arizona. Something she said she doesn’t believe. “We’re in contact with his family there because we’ve been there several times,” she said. “He has never showed up there.”

Eric Stewart
Eric StewartValeria Morral

One thing Valerie told Dateline she knows for sure, is that her brother would never be gone this long without contacting his sisters. “He has never went anywhere that we didn’t know he went,” she said. “There’s no way he would even go a week without calling me.”

Valerie told Dateline that Eric’s cellphone, along with the rest of his belongings, were left at their mother’s house when he disappeared. “He didn’t drive also. I don’t know how he would make it,” she said.

It has now been eight months since Valerie has heard her brother’s voice.

In May, Eric’s family held a memorial for him. “To get the word out,” Valerie said. “We had it in the middle of town square.”

Now, Valerie said her family is hoping the word will continue to spread so they might finally get answers on what happened to their brother.

Eric is Native American-White Mountain Apache and has black hair and brown eyes. He is 5’3″ tall and 125 lbs. He wears glasses, his right eye crosses inward, and he has a large scar with screws visible on his right leg.

Anyone with information about Eric’s disappearance is asked to call the Beverly Police Department at 304-637-3561.