Israel Ray Smith
Smith, circa 2008
- Missing Since 03/10/2008
- Missing From Wytheville, Virginia
- Classification Endangered Missing
- Sex Male
- Race White
- Date of Birth 01/18/1980 (43)
- Age 28 years old
- Height and Weight 5'10, 160 pounds
- Clothing/Jewelry Description A black leather jacket, a white dress shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers.
- Associated Vehicle(s) Green 1992 Ford Explorer with the Virginia license plate number KHA2683 (accounted for)
- Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair. Some agencies spell Smith's first name "Isreal." His nickname is Is.
Details of Disappearance
Smith was last seen on March 10, 2008 in his hometown of Wytheville, Virginia. He completed his work shift at Radio Shack at 8:00 p.m., then went to visit his brother. He also spoke to his mother on the phone that day.
According to his supervisor, he was behaving normally at work and when he left, he said, "I'll see you tomorrow." He didn't show up for his shift the next day or call in. He has never been heard from again.
Smith spoke to his mother on the phone at least a couple of times a week. She visited his apartment on March 11 and 12, but although his car was parked outside, he didn't answer the door either time. She left notes on the door asking him to call her.
March 13 was his brother's birthday, and Smith's family became concerned when he didn't contact them. His mother, his brother and his brother's girlfriend went to his apartment in the late evening and he still didn't answer the door. His mother spoke to a neighbor, who said they hadn't seen him.
A day later, Smith's mother went to his apartment again and noticed his vehicle, a green 1992 Ford Explorer with the Virginia license plate number KHA2683, had not been moved from its spot next to the building. She tried the SUV's doors and they were unlocked. Inside the car was a basket of clean laundry. She tried his apartment door and it was also unlocked, but her son wasn't home.
Smith's mother called the police, who told her they'd been to his apartment earlier that day on a welfare check, at the request of his employer. The police had found the apartment door slightly ajar, and noticed his car's doors were unlocked with the keys inside.
Inside the apartment, the lights and television were turned on, the game controller was plugged in and lying on the floor, and Smith's keys were on the coffee table. There were no signs of a struggle or forced entry. None of his belongings were missing and there were no indications that he'd planned to leave for an extended time period.
Smith had worked at Radio Shack since September 2007 and was considered an ideal employee who never missed work or was late without calling. It's also uncharacteristic of him to leave his doors unlocked or to leave his video game controller lying out; he kept his belongings well-organized with everything in its particular place.
He left behind a seven-year-old son. Smith and his son's mother never married and had ended their relationship years before. The child lived with her, but Smith was close to him and visited him most weekends. His cellular phone hasn't been used since his disappearance and all calls are transferred to voice mail, and he hasn't used his bank account or logged into his MySpace account.
Authorities interviewed a woman he'd recently dated; Smith had been thinking of ending his relationship with her. The woman has been cleared as a suspect in her case.
Police stated there's no hard evidence of foul play in Smith's disappearance, but they don't believe he left of his own accord. His mother said he would never have left without warning or abandoned his son, and she fears he came to harm. His case remains unsolved.
- Wytheville Police Department 276-223-3300
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 6, 2021; picture added, details of disappearance updated.