Details of Disappearance
Smith was last seen walking in the 500 Block of west Main Street in Charlottesville, Virginia at 6:30 p.m. on November 20, 2012. She had contacted Erik McFadden
, whom she had met online, and they made plans to meet near the Amtrak station. The pair had been exchanging texts and calls for weeks and had met before, and Smith accepted money in exchange from the promise to keep herself a secret from McFadden's girlfriend.
Smith has never been heard from again. Her family reported her missing after she missed Thanksgiving dinner two days later. Since her disappearance, her cellular phone has been turned off, which is unusual for her. She always kept it charged and turned on.
McFadden left town shortly after Smith's disappearance and his girlfriend reported him missing on November 24. He called the police on November 27 and spoke to them on the phone, saying he was in New York. He said Smith never showed up for their planned meeting and he didn't know what happened to her. When the police told him he should return to Virginia, he hung up on them.
On November 29, McFadden's girlfriend told police he was taking a bus back to Charlottesville and expected the police to pick him up. The next day, however, McFadden's girlfriend said he had changed his mind. He emailed his girlfriend saying Smith had been blackmailing him, threatening to tell the girlfriend they had had sex. He said he did, in fact, meet with Smith on the day of her disappearance, but he did not know what happened to her and that Smith "had a lot of enemies."
Authorities still want to question McFadden in person; they consider him a person of interest in Smith's disappearance. The last sign of him was an email he sent to his girlfriend in May 2013, from an untraceable email address.
McFadden's mother and stepmother have not heard from him since 2012 and they believe he may be dead. In June 2019, his mother reported him missing to the Charlottesville Police Department.
Smith is a 2011 graduate of Charlottesville High School, and took cosmetology classes. She was raised by her grandmother for much of her childhood, then returned to her mother's care, then spent time in foster care after her mother was deemed unfit. She had recently moved in with roommates in an apartment on Harris Street.
Smith's disappearance is now being investigated as a homicide. McFadden isn't the only person of interest; one of Smith's roommates was caught using her food stamp card after her disappearance, and another friend was seen wearing a locket belonging to Smith, although the woman claimed her boyfriend gave it to her.
Smith's case remains unsolved.