DaShad Smith's Family Suggests New Lead in Missing Persons Case
Family members of a Charlottesville man who vanished more than three months ago are calling on police to consider their suggestions to move the case forward. That includes talking to his former roommates.
Twenty-year-old DaShad Smith's cousin, Kenneth Jackson, and grandmother, Lolita Smith, talked publicly Friday afternoon about their calls to sit down with police on their mission for closure.
DaShad was last seen November 20 near the Charlottesville Amtrak station. Family members say there are lingering questions that police refuse to answer.
Jackson and Lolita Smith gave a tearful statement in front of City Hall Friday. They have given Charlottesville police a list of nine questions they want answered (see below).
For the first time, the family is suggesting Smith's roommates may know something. Jackson says investigators should be asking them for information on events leading up to his disappearance. He says that will prove reason to believe a crime has occurred.
"His roommates, when they left, they said they left terrified. They were afraid of being hurt, and the police never came up with a conclusion or asked them why did they have that feeling," Jackson said.
He continued, "Even from the gentleman that came forth and told us who Erik McFadden was and gave us who's phone number it was that DaShad last contacted, they even said they had fear for their life so the police have never revealed or questioned about why do you have this fear."
The family says it wants to sit down with police as a whole.
"The police department is telling me that they would meet with my son and myself but they would not meet with Mr. Jackson," said Lolita Smith. "Mr. Jackson is my spokesperson because there will be questions that we might not even think of that he will and I really don't think that it's right.
Police have consistently said they communicate directly with Smith's mother, but now, the family says that she and Smith were estranged.
Jackson said, "The chief of police and, I think, the police department wishes to deal with her because she takes whatever they say as a piece of gold, whereas we're going to demand answers."
Smith's family says they are currently working with the CUE Center for Missing Persons and are in contact with the FBI. They are hoping to raise enough money for a national ad to help bring Smith home.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:36 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:36:22 GMT
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