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Search Party Sets Out for Missing Teen

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DaShad Smith DaShad Smith

Charlottesville police continue to look for missing teen DaShad Smith and Saturday, detectives got a lot of help from the community.

Smith's family and friends combed the Charlottesville area for clues all afternoon. His mother says she hopes the search will help bring her son home.

"It makes me feel good to see people coming together, people that I don't even know or even knew DaShad," said Latasha Grooms, Smith's mother.

About 100 search party participants split off into groups to comb the train tracks near the Amtrak station.

Charlottesville police say Smith had planned to meet Erik McFadden at the Amtrak station on November 20, which is also the last night he was seen.

"I knew from the beginning that something was wrong. DaShad's not going to turn his phone off-- he lives by his phone, he lives by Facebook and neither one of those were active," Grooms said.

McFadden told police the meeting never happened, and now they believe he has suddenly left town. At this point, police do not suspect foul play.

"A part of you feels a certain way and you don't want to think that so I just want to say, hope that he's just somewhere needing help," Grooms said.

Grooms says the Charlottesville community has been supportive in her time of need.

Jennifer Maiorano, a member of the search party, said, "When somebody goes missing in your community it should be I guess a mission of yours to actually help and try to find that person because you never know when one day it will be your own."

For now, Smith's mother is holding onto hope.

"It hurts you know every day, him not being here. I try to be positive. That's the only way you're going to get up every day is to try to stay positive, hoping that something's going to come up," Grooms said.

So far nothing has turned up from the search. Police are encouraging anyone with information about DaShad Smith's or Erik McFadden's whereabouts to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.

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