Lauren Susanne Smith

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Above Images: Smith, circa 2011

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: November 21, 2011 from Leon, Virginia
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Age: 22 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'5, 190 - 250 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Smith was wearing contact lenses at the time of her disappearance. Some accounts spell her middle name "Susann."
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A dark blue or black hooded sweatshirt with the word "Longwood" in white capital letters across the front, a pink long-sleeved shirt, dark-colored pants, white shoes and a knitted cap. A photo of Smith wearing those clothes on the day of her disappearance is posted below this case summary.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Smith's cousin supposedly dropped her off at a residence on Oak Ridge Lane in Leon, Virginia at 2:15 p.m. on November 21, 2011. She was being paid to clean the house. Its owner came home later and discovered the house was unlocked and the dogs had been let out, but the home hadn't been cleaned. A revolver had disappeared from that house and was never located. Surveillance video from a nearby 7-11 showed Smith visiting a friend at the store at approximately 3:00 p.m. This is the last indication of her whereabouts; she has never been heard from again. Authorities have stated they weren't sure Smith's cousin had, in fact, dropped her off at the Oak Ridge Lane residence. The cousin has since moved out of state.

    Kenneth Kuban was the owner of the house Smith was supposed to clean on the day she vanished. In November 2013, Kuban was sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison for stalking his ex-girlfriend over a two-year period. Along with harassing her, he also posted 165 fake ads on the classified ad website Craigslist, inviting strangers to come to her home for free sexual services. Although Kuban had no prior criminal history, the judge doubled the sentence recommended by sentencing guidelines because of how much his victim suffered. He has no prior criminal history. The stalking case wasn't related to Smith's disappearance and authorities haven't named him a suspect in her case.

    Smith was carrying between $2,000 and $5,000 in cash at the time of her disappearance; she planned to use the money to buy a car. She may have been carrying a set of unclaimed license plates at the time of her disappearance; they had belonged to her brother and the number was XBW2666. She left behind her passport, credit cards and driver's license. She had her cellular phone with her but didn't have a charger for it. Smith is an avid gamer and played online video games with people from all over the world, from as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom, but authorities weren't able to link that hobby to her disappearance. She graduated from Madison County High School in 2007 and then got an associate's degree at Germanna Community College. She was studying at Longwood University at the time she went missing and had almost completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree in social work. Although Smith would occasionally take spontaneous trips, she always let someone know where she was at. She regularly called and texted her loved ones, but all communication stopped after she vanished and no one she knows has heard from her since her disappearance.

    There are some indications that Smith left of her own accord: a suitcase was discovered missing from her home after she went missing, and she'd reportedly asked friends for advice on how to disappear. Because of the uncharacteristic lack of contact, however, authorities are also investigating the possibility that foul play was involved in her case. It remains unsolved.

    Smith on the day she vanished
    Above: Surveillance video image of Smith on the day of her disappearance

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Madison County Sheriff's Office
    540-948-5161

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    Source Information
    WVIR-TV
    The Star Exponent
    Newsplex
    NBC 29

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 5, 2016; three pictures and alternate weight added, distinguishing characteristics, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.

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