Details of Disappearance
Smatlak last had contact with his family at approximately 4:00 p.m. on January 28, 2006, by telephone from his residence in the 1000 block of Logan Road in North Versailles, Pennsylvania.
He said he was going to visit a friend in Delmont, Pennsylvania, but never arrived. He was scheduled to eat dinner with his parents the next day, but never made it there either. He has never been heard from again.
His vehicle, a silver four-door 2004 Mazda 3, was found abandoned shortly before noon on February 9, 2006, at Meyran Avenue and Louisa Street in Oakland, Pennsylvania. This was about thirty miles from his residence. The windows were rolled down and snow had gotten inside. It had snowed on February 2 and 3, but not since then, so the car had probably been parked at that location since around that time.
His loved ones stated he did not have any known friends in the Oakland area and they did not believe he would have deliberately left his car with the windows rolled down. When his apartment was checked, it was clean and there were no indications of a struggle or foul play.
Smatlak graduated from Norwin High School and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg; his degree is in criminal justice. During his college years he was a commuter student.
After his graduation in 2005, he got an apartment and took a job in the produce section of the North Versailles Giant Eagle store, but shortly before his disappearance he lost his job. He was looking for another job and had an interview scheduled in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. By January 2006, he had been living on his own for nine months and had been seeing the same woman for two years.
Months before he disappeared, Smatlak went out for a meal with his parents and told his mother, "If anything ever happened to me or if I was ever missing, know that I'll be okay." His mother wasn't alarmed by this statement and thought it might be connected to problems he was having with his girlfriend.
Investigators think Smatlak had been selling drugs in Westmoreland County for over five years by the time of his disappearance. He hadn't been arrested during this time period, but police are basing their conclusion based on what other witnesses said and by what was found at his apartment. Authorities believe his disappearance is connected to the drug trade.
Smatlak has not used his cellular phone or access his bank accounts since his disappearance. He was close to his parents and spoke to them every few days, and his family says it is uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning. His case remains unsolved.