A Virginia transgender teen went missing after last being seen near a Charlotteville Amtrak station. The case was later deemed a homicide, and police had a person interest who may have knowledge, but he then disappeared.
Dashad "Sage" Smith has been missing since around 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2012. Their body has never been found despite the case being reclassified as a homicide.
Now, nearly 10 years have passed since they've been seen. Police believe Erik McFadden was the last person to have contact with Smith, but he left Charlottesville on Nov. 23, 2014, and hasn't been seen since, according to The Charley Project.
Smith would be 19 today.
“This is a loss that is different from other losses because there is no closure. It’s like you can’t finish grieving; it’s a continuance untied feeling that hits me,” Smith’s mother, LaTasha Dennis told WHSV in 2019.
It's left the whole family searching for answers. “With every milestone I reach, I wish he was able to be there getting my license, graduation, scholarship ceremonies or college move-in day, but he is not,” Eanna Langston, Smith’s sister, told the outlet.
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According to WHSV, McFadden briefly spoke with police soon after Smith first disappeared, but later when he was supposed to go to the police station he disappeared and hasn't been heard from since.
“We believe Eric has ties to the Joppa/Baltimore Maryland area, Rochester, New York, Columbia, South Carolina, Lake City, South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania,” Lead Detective Regine Wright said in 2019.
In 2020, police expressed optimism that they might be close to finding McFadden, according to CBS 19 News.
"Actually, at this time we are exploring new active leads in this case. I can't share specifics on what those are due to the sensitivity of the case," said CPD Public Information Officer Tyler Hawn. "But, we are pursuing those actively with the assistance of local, state, and federal partners."
A $10,000 reward is being offered for anyone who can lead police to McFadden or Smith.
Still, time continues to pass without any answers.
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