Charlottesville police are getting help in their investigation into the disappearance of DaShad Smith. Smith has been missing for a month now, but authorities have announced a reward they hope will lead them to more clues.
Charlottesville Area Crime Stoppers received an anonymous donation of $10,000 to assist in their investigation. Police spoke out at a news conference Tuesday about where the search is now and how they are moving forward with the investigation.
At the news conference, police talked about the search at a landfill in Henrico County Monday. Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo says crews combed through trash and debris at the Old Dominion Landfill because that is the last spot trash from Charlottesville would have landed. They were looking for any information or evidence that will help give them some direction in this case.
Longo said, "In this juncture in the investigation, whatever records that might help us track his activity - whether that activity be financial transactions, telephone calls, text messaging, certainly those are logical avenues to pursue."
Smith has been missing since November 20. Investigators say he had plans to meet with Erik McFadden near the Charlottesville Amtrak station. McFadden told them the meeting never happened and he left town shortly after.
"That's a clue that's going to cause us to continue to track his whereabouts to the extent that we can in an effort to gather information from him," said Longo.
As police continue searching for answers, they say they are less hopeful as days pass without any leads. Longo said, "There's a myriad of factors that don't make me feel good about this case, but I can't point to something specific and say, 'This is why I know this isn't going to have a happy ending.'"
But that doesn't mean they are giving up on the search for Smith. Police emphasize they are working as hard as possible to reach a conclusion in this case. "That's a tremendous number of resources that we've invested that may yield nothing, but may yield something that may be key to the next step of this investigation. And that's the best thing we can hope for," Longo said.
Police say they are limited in what they can reveal in this investigation. "One of the things that is most frustrating is the fact that we can't be as transparent as folks may like us to be about what we're doing," Longo said. "And the reason for that is as much as we're talking about it publicly, that same information is transmitted to a potential suspect or person of interest, who now knows how close we are to getting to the truth and I don't want that to be the case."
They are continuing to speak with Smith's mother on a daily basis. "It's important to make sure that we communicate and have communicated to Ms. Grooms, DaShad's mother: 'Here's what we're doing today, here's what we've done yesterday, here's what we're going to do tomorrow,'" Longo said.
Anyone with information about Smith's disappearance should call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
Charlottesville Police Department Press Release
Charlottesville, VA- The Charlottesville Area Crime Stoppers has received an anonymous donation/reward for $10,000 to assist police in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of DaShad Smith.
Law enforcement is hopeful this significant donation will assist in ongoing efforts to father information regarding DaShad's disappearance. The Charlottesville Police Department still needs the community's help regarding DeShad's disappearance, as well as information in locating Erik. T. McFadden, a person of interest in this investigation.
Tips to local law enforcement have helped to solve many crimes in our community. We are hopeful that any information received in this case will help locate DaShad Smith and reunite him with his family.
We urge the community to continue to provide information that will assist law enforcement in this investigation. The Crime Stoppers number is (434) 977-4000.
Police Announce $10,000 Reward for Information on Missing PersonMore>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:36 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:36:22 GMT
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