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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's 2015 and Sage Smith is Still Missing

Sage Smith is a young transgender woman from Charlottesville, VA  who is still missing. I say "is" because we still don't know of her fate, except that she was supposed to meet a man from Minnesota who came to Charlottesville to meet her. She disappeared in December 2012 and while there have been some feeble leads, no one has been able to find out her fate.DaShad Laquinn Smith 2

I never knew Sage. I don't know anyone in her family. I have no contact with the Transgender Community in Charlottesville, partly because I live 25 miles from Charlottesville, partly because in a relatively rural area, almost every person who is transgender has been a patient of mine, and I can't have relationships outside of my work with people I work with for at least two years after my work with them is done and over.

More information was released by Charlottesville, VA police this past November and featured on NBC channel 29 in Charlottesville, which I discovered today:

"Charlottesville Police Offer New Details in Dashad 'Sage' Smith Case

Posted: Nov 16, 2015 4:50 PM ESTUpdated: Nov 30, 2015 5:07 PM EST
Investigators with the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) are releasing new details about the disappearance case of a transgendered teenager.
Dashad “Sage” Smith vanished from along West Main Street almost three years ago.
Police are now saying the only person of interest in the case likely didn't have a hand in the disappearance.
Investigators working the case have released a new timeline of events from the night Smith vanished. Detectives say Smith left home to meet Erik McFadden at the Amtrak Train Station about 5:40 p.m. on November 20, 2012.
  • 5:17 p.m. - Smith sends text message to Erik McFadden, “When r u leaving”
  • 5:20 p.m. - McFadden replies, “I already did.  I’m at the Hampton Inn.”
  • 5:17 to 5:40 p.m. - Smith and McFadden exchange various text messages.
  • At approximately 5:40 PM Smith leaves his residence.
  • 6:08 p.m. - McFadden sends text message to Smith, “Where u at?”
  • 6:12 p.m. - McFadden sends text message to Smith, “I’m standing here where r u?”
  • 6:18 to 6:37 p.m. - Smith talking on his phone with friend from Northern Virginia. Texts from McFadden come in during this time frame, but it is unknown if Smith read them.
  • 6:27 p.m. - McFadden sends text message to Smith, “Bye u stood me up smh”
  • 6:35 p.m. - Witness sees Smith walking on 4th Street NW. Smith stops and talks to witness at a bus stop in the 400 block of West Main Street. Smith tells witness he is going to meet someone at the Amtrak Station.
  • 6:40 p.m. - Smith walks westbound on West Main Street.
  • 7:00 p.m. - Unconfirmed account puts Smith alone at Wild Wing Café, which is next to the train state.
A separate witness said three “cross-dressers” were seen inside the restaurant that evening. No video was available to assist in identifying them or to verify Smith was there. Police also note that there is no one that saw Smith at the train station.
According to a witness, Smith was wearing grey and black rain boots with purple and pink lining, grey sweatpants, and a black jacket with a hoodie.
McFadden told police the meeting never happened.  McFadden had sent an email to his girlfriend saying he did meet with Smith, but added he was scared off by a group of approaching people.
McFadden disappeared a few days later, and has been considered a person of interest in the case.
Police are now backing off of McFadden for several reasons: Investigators don't believe McFadden had the means to dispose of a body. "Phone records indicate that they may not have gotten together at all," said CPD Captain Gary Pleasants.
"Someone somewhere at some point in time saw Dashad that afternoon. Maybe they saw him walking up the street alone. Maybe they saw him walking with someone else. Maybe they saw him get into a car, or go into a building. That's the person we need to hear from," said CPD Chief Tim Longo.
Chief Longo is also publicly talking about raising the reward for information. "I would like to think it would be more than money, but you know in this case we're taking every step we can to persuade people," he stated.    
"Any little thing, any little thing can help us. It's been three years and we're getting pretty desperate. I know I am, as a mother, I'm desperate to know where my baby is," said Latasha Grooms, Smith’s mother.
Police plan to be out in the area of West Main Street Friday, Nov. 20. They will be putting up missing person posters to generate new leads.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
A $20,000 reward is currently being offered in the case."


PLEASE, if you have any information that can help the police in Charlottesville and Albemarle county find Sage alive or find out her fate, I'm sure it would bring great comfort and peace to her loved ones.

1 comment:

  1. This is so sad, the family needs closure regardless of what form it is. We lost a local TV personality over 10 years ago and never a word on what happened. It effects the community as well as the family. I do not live on the East Coast so have heard nothing about this case. My thoughts and prayers are with the family that I don't know.