Loved ones of DaShad Smith came together Wednesday night at a vigil in Lee Park to remind the community that he is still missing and they need your help to bring him home. It's been exactly one year since DaShad was last seen or heard from.
For many, it's a been a rough year. One year after DaShad went missing and the pain is still fresh for the family - still no answers, still no closure. There have been few leads and even fewer answers, but despite that there is no shortage of hope.
"You know, it's just been hard, I don't know no other way to put it,” said Lolita Smith, DaShad’s grandmother. "There are so many different emotions, you know, I'm crying one minute, trying to be happy the next, trying to be strong for everybody else."
Lolita Smith is pushing through the heartbreak, remaining optimistic, and staying committed to getting the word out through social media and flyers in the community. "To let people know, we can't forget about DaShad, he's still out there somewhere. We want him home, we miss him,” she said.
DaShad was last seen near the Amtrak Station on West Main Street in Charlottesville, where police say he was supposed to meet Erik McFadden. McFadden told police that meeting never happened and that he was in New York the night DaShad disappeared. But after questioning, McFadden skipped town, and hasn't been heard from since.
Police say they are actively looking for McFadden and DaShad. Back in January a search took them to a Henrico landfill for clues. Within the past month a tip took officers to the Tidewater area for a possible sighting, but it wasn't DaShad.
The family is encouraged by the ongoing community support and the gut feeling that someone knows something. “Of course they do. I wish they would find it in their heart and just let him come home. Y'all done had him for a year now. Send him home to us,” said Smith.
Lolita Smith says McFadden's family hasn't even heard from him and believes that he is on the run.
If you have any information about the case, call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
Community Remembers DaShad Smith One Year after DisappearanceMore>>
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012.Full Story
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012. She is a proud alum of Howard University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Communication at Johns Hopkins. Email/ Full Story
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