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Mother of Sage Smith Looks to Public for Help in Disappearance Case

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Latasha Grooms, Sage Smith's mother Latasha Grooms, Sage Smith's mother
Images of Sage Smith provided by the Charlottesville Police Department Images of Sage Smith provided by the Charlottesville Police Department
Police believe Eric McFadden was the last person to see Smith Police believe Eric McFadden was the last person to see Smith
Sage Smith disappeared back in November 2012 Sage Smith disappeared back in November 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The mother of a missing transgender teenager who is presumed dead is now asking the community to step up to the plate.

Latasha Grooms says recent police activity in Sage Smith's case is giving her hope, but she says every day is still a struggle.

It was back in November 2012 that Smith vanished after last being seen in the 500 block of West Main Street. Now, Grooms is calling on the community for tips.

"It's really painful, and it's hard," says Grooms. "It's hard to be, to go daily in life sometimes."

While she's prepared for a negative eventual outcome, Smith's mother still holds onto a sliver of hope that Sage Smith will walk through the door one day.

"No matter what, we need to know what happened," says Grooms.

Grooms is happy with what police have been doing to help with the case recently. Detectives spent May 7-8 at Smith's former home along Harris Street in Charlottesville conducting a forensic sweep. Grooms hopes media coverage of it will help generate new leads, and that it's good for the public to see this work.

"I'm happy that they are doing that,” says Grooms. “Hopefully they do find something. It would be nice to get some type of break in the case."

Detectives say the house search was fruitful. Police did a final walk-through of the home on Wednesday, May 9, and cleared the scene.

"We took several items out of the house," says Detective Regine Wright-Settle of the Charlottesville Police Department. "I can't go into details about what and how much. But over the next few weeks we're going to be looking at the things we took out of the house."

Police want to focus on Eric McFadden, as he's the only person of interest that's been named in the case. He's also missing, and he was reportedly the last person to see Smith before the disappearance. McFadden is also known to have ties to a number of states, including Maryland, New York, and Texas.

No matter his level of involvement, Smith's mother wants him to come forward and clear the air so police can do their job: get a grieving mother the answers she deserves.

"It's hard, and so I would love to just be able to have closure," says Grooms. "I need closure. We all need closure."

Police are also asking people to watch an hour-long show about this case that airs on Investigation Discovery at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9. A $20,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to what happened to Sage Smith.

If you think you might have information on this case, there is a dedicated tip line that you can call at 434-970-3381.

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