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Family and Friends Hold Praise Rally for Missing Person - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Family and Friends Hold Praise Rally for Missing Person

Posted: Updated: Dec 22, 2012 11:46 PM EST
Family and friends of DaShad Smith leaving the praise rally. Family and friends of DaShad Smith leaving the praise rally.
DaShad Smith DaShad Smith
DaShad Smith DaShad Smith
Erik McFadden Erik McFadden

The father of a missing Charlottesville man is holding out hope that his son is alive, just days after police searched a Richmond-area landfill for clues to his disappearance. Saturday night supporters of DaShad Smith rallied behind his family.

Twenty-year-old DaShad Laquinn Smith was last seen Tuesday November 20, 2012 on the 500 block of West Main Street around 6:30 p.m.  Now it has been more than a month since DaShad Smith's disappearance, but his family is not giving up on their search to bring him home.  They believe he is still alive and more attention from the community will help in their search.

Family and friends of DaShad Smith gathered at Sojourners United Church of Christ Saturday night for a praise rally to focus their attention on getting him home.

DaShad's father Dean Smith said, "I understand they have to go to the procedures and everything, but me as a father, I feel like they are not moving fast enough."

DaShad's cousin Kenneth Jackson stated, "We just don't feel like there's been enough community involvement. There hasn't been enough city or police involvement. I understand this is the Christmas season, but we saw no one there."

Smith's family says it is time for police to start taking the disappearance seriously. They say limited police resources are not looking in the right places.

Jackson stated, "The perfect example is the search of the Henrico dump last week. That's a joke. You take 14 people down there for three days and really think you're going to find anything."

As for Erik McFadden - a man police call a person of interest - Smith's family members have no doubt he was involved in the disappearance.

Jackson said, "I believe that if you find McFadden, you get the people who saw DaShad last and you start putting together all this evidence instead of just brushing it under the table - that they will actually find DaShad and get to the bottom of exactly what happened."

DaShad Smith's father is holding out hope his son will return home alive. "Nobody can tell me that my son ain't here no more. Nobody. Until you call me downtown to ask me to identify a body, and that is not going to happen because my son is still here. We just got to find him," he said.

Now, Dean says he is seeking donations to hire a private investigator to look into the case. He believes that is a necessary step to bring DaShad home.

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