Hoyle Smith

Smith, circa 1995; Donald Abercrombie, circa 1997

  • Missing Since 11/04/1995
  • Missing From Sanford, North Carolina
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Age 79 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'0, 150 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Gray hair, blue eyes. Smith had a mustache and beard at the time of his disappearance.

Details of Disappearance

Smith was last seen at his residence in Sanford, North Carolina on November 4, 1995. His girlfriend, Margie Shaw Boone, visited him at his home during the day. Neither of them has been heard from again.

Authorities discovered a trail of blood inside Smith's house shortly after he and Boone were reported missing. There was no other sign of the couple at the scene, although the home appeared to have been burglarized.

Donald Abercrombie held officers at bay during a 17-hour standoff in Fayetteville, North Carolina on November 9, five days after Smith and Boone disappeared. A photo of Abercrombie is posted with this case summary. He eventually surrendered to investigators and pled guilty to the incident. Abercrombie was sentenced to 25 to 30 months in prison.

Authorities determined that DNA evidence inside Smith's home linked Abercrombie to the scene of the presumed murders. He was charged with one count of robbery and two counts of first-degree murder. Investigators said that Abercrombie confessed to Smith and Boone's homicides and claimed that he buried the couple in the woods near his residence in Spring Lake, North Carolina.

A jury convicted Abercrombie of both murders in February 1997. He was sentenced to two life terms in prison, although prosecutors had requested the death penalty. Several of Abercrombie's family members testified that he was abused as a child and was severely affected by his father's death several years earlier.

Smith and Boone's remains have never been located.

Investigating Agency

  • Sanford Police Department
  • 919-774-3881
  • 919-775-8268
  • Lee County Sheriff's Office
  • 919-775-5531

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 9, 2017; height and weight added, distinguishing characteristics updated.