CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The case of a missing trans woman of color from Charlottesville is back in the spotlight.

The Charlottesville Police Department announced Wednesday, March 29, that the investigation into Sage Smith's disappearance is now a homicide investigation.

Authorities say reclassifying the case expands what they can do in their investigation.

Smith was last seen in November of 2012 near the Amtrak Train Station along West Main Street. Investigators believe Smith was going to meet Erik McFadden near the train station that night, but McFadden told police the meeting never happened.

McFadden disappeared a few days later, and is considered a person of interest in the case. Investigators said back in November 2015 that they no longer believed McFadden had a hand in Smith's disappearance, but have since altered that decision. Police say no single element of the investigation led to the decision, which occurred back in December 2016.

"What prompted the reclassification was the totality of the investigation up to this point, and the fact Dashad Smith has not been heard from since he was reported missing in November 2012," said Charlottesville Police Lt. Steve Upman.

Smith's parents were notified in December of the reclassification of the case. Police say they wanted to give the family time to digest the information before releasing it to the public.

Authorities continue to ask for anyone with information on this case to call Crime Stoppers at 434-977- 4000.

The reward for information in this case stands at $20,000.

Release from the Charlottesville Police Department:

In consultation with the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Charlottesville, the missing person case involving Dashad “Sage” Smith was reclassified as a homicide in December 2016.

Smith’s parents were notified of this decision in person by members of the Charlottesville Police Department.

CPD continues to actively investigate.

No single element of this investigation led to the decision to reclassify this case. However, investigators believe based on all of the available information a homicide designation is most appropriate at this time.

The Charlottesville Police Department is again asking for the public’s assistance with this investigation. Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call Det. Wright-Settle at 434-970-3274 or Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.