Details of Disappearance
Smith was last seen in Tucson, Arizona on February 8, 1977. She lived with her boyfriend and attended Pima Community College; her family lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Smith's former landlord, Chauncey Lee Mast, was a drug trafficker in 1977. He normally sold marijuana wholesale, but Smith occasionally sold it in small quantities for him. He would also occasionally give her $50 to drive out to remote locations and deliver large amounts of marijuana to buyers.
On one such trip, Smith was robbed by thieves disguised as plainclothes police officers, who "confiscated" the drugs. When Smith told Mast about this, he vowed to get revenge on the persons responsible.
Several months later, on the day of her disappearance, Mast sent Smith out to receive large quantities of marijuana from a supplier in a remote area. This was her first such errand; previously, she had only done deliveries. Although Smith was very particular about her appearance, she wasn't dressed in her usual manner the day she vanished and she wore her glasses, not her contacts.
She drove off in a rented blue Ford Maverick at sunset and never returned. Her maroon Karmann Ghia was found left behind at her apartment in the 1400 block of east Blackridge Drive, as were all her other belongings.
In December 1977, the Ford Maverick she'd been driving was located about a block from the apartment she had previously rented from Mast. It had been parked there for months. The car's spare tire was in the backseat and there was a single marijuana seed in the trunk.
Twelve years before Smith vanished, in 1966, Mast was charged with the murder of his wife. He was accused of killing her, then engineering a flaming car crash along an isolated stretch of U.S. Route 93 south of Wikieup, Arizona to cover up the murder. His wife's badly burned body was found in the front seat of the burning vehicle.
Mast was tried three times, but the twice the jury was unable to reach a verdict and one trial ended in a mistrial. The prosecution decided not to try him a fourth time. He died in Oregon in 2011. It's never been proven he was involved in Smith's disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.