Steven Lee Smith

Smith, circa 2008; Wesley Elliott Kelly

  • Missing Since 12/06/2008
  • Missing From Lafayette, Indiana
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 07/31/1956 (67)
  • Age 52 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'1 - 6'2, 140 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A maroon and green striped shirt, a green jacket with a gray liner, black pants or blue jeans and black sneakers.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Graying brown hair, hazel eyes. Smith wears wire-rimmed eyeglasses. His left ear is pierced.

Details of Disappearance

Smith was last seen leaving his residence in the vicinity of the 200 block of 4th Street in Lafayette, Indiana at 12:40 a.m. on December 6, 2008. He was headed downtown. He has never been heard from again.

After his disappearance, his mother found his apartment in an unusually neat and clean condition, with toiletry items missing. She stated it looked as if no one lived there.

Wesley Elliott Kelly, Smith's roommate, was the prime suspect in his disappearance from the start. A photo of Kelly is posted with this case summary. He was jailed on December 13 on unrelated charges and stated he and Smith got into an argument in their apartment on the day of Smith's disappearance. He allegedly slammed Smith's head into a wall and a toilet.

The confrontation flared up again later on the Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern Railroad bridge over the Wabash River. Kelly struck Smith with a bicycle lock, knocking him into the water.

Kelly was arrested on suspicion of murder, but he wasn't formally charged in Smith's presumed homicide. Instead, he was incarcerated on the charge of failure to register as a sex offender. It wasn't until January 2010 that Kelly was charged with murder and misdemeanor battery in Smith's case. He pleaded guilty to murder in July and was sentenced to 60 years in prison, the maximum allowed under the plea agreement, in August 2010.

Smith's body has never been found. Authorities believe it's in the Wabash River.

Investigating Agency

  • Lafayette Police Department 765-807-1200

Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 17, 2011; details of disappearance updated.