The investigation into the disappearance of a 20-year-old from Charlottesville turns yet again to a landfill just outside of Richmond.
The New Year is bringing about a renewed effort to find DaShad Smith. With few leads, investigators say the landfill is the next logical step. And on the second time, they're digging deeper.
Charlottesville police hope to return to the Henrico County landfill by the end of the week. They're looking for anything that can help explain Smith's disappearance.
Smith, also known as Sage, was last seen in the area of West Main Street in Charlottesville on November 20.
On Wednesday, operators of the Old Dominion Landfill will remove dirt to give investigators even more access to trash that comes in from Charlottesville.
"There's no information that said we absolutely, there's something in this landfill. Unfortunately there was nothing that said, yeah we've got to do this," said Captain Gary Pleasants with the Charlottesville Police Department.
To help with the task, the department is renting three large pieces of construction equipment, including a truck and a front-end loader. This comes after protestors have repeatedly demanded better work from detectives on the case, but at a news conference last month Chief Tim Longo said they're doing all they can.
"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," he said.
Since police have no evidence that a crime has been committed, Longo says Smith is still a missing person which means detectives deal with daily legal obstacles.
Longo also said in the news conference, "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.'"
Tips do continue to come in on the case even as late as Monday night.
If you can help police, call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:36 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:36:22 GMT
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