Police Search for Evidence at Former Home of Sage Smith
Detectives are searching for new clues in the Sage Smith case, a transgender teenager who has been missing since November 2012.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Detectives are searching for new clues in the case of transgender teenager who has been missing since November 2012.
Investigators with the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) were combing through the former home of Sage Smith Tuesday, May 8. Forensic unit and detectives have spent the last two days searching for DNA and other evidence.
"Sometimes, even when you go back after many years, you can still find traces of DNA evidence. Blood that was wiped away can still be found after several years," said CPD Detective Regine Wright-Settle.
CPD had searched the Smith home along Harris Street back in 2012. Law enforcement told NBC29’s Henry Graff that this recent search is the first full-forensic sweep of the area. This is also a voluntary search of the house, which is now occupied by other renters.
"It's retracing steps and rechecking things as we go through the case. We try to go back and find things that were missed and go back and make sure it's done," Wright-Settle said.
Smith was last seen in the area of the Amtrak Train Station of West Main Street around 5 p.m. November 20, 2012. Police have said Smith was in contact with Erik McFadden, and that the two were planning to meet.
McFadden left the Charlottesville area not long after he spoke with investigators. His whereabouts are unknown and he remains a person of interest in this case.
Police reclassified Smith's case as a homicide sometime in December 2016.
"It's an active investigation. It's not cold or anything like that. So we have dedicated resources to the case so it can be worked full-time," CPD Sgt. Tony Newberry said.
McFadden is said to have ties to a variety of states - including New York, Maryland and Texas - but police say he has simply vanished.
"Right now we're hoping for the public's help. There are other law enforcement tools to try to find him which we are going to explore," said Det. Wright-Settle.
A tip line has been established for information related to Smith’s case: (434-970- 3381). A $20,000 reward is being offered for information that may lead to the location of Sage Smith and or an arrest.
05/07/2018 Release from the Charlottesville Police Department:
The Charlottesville Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division, requests the community’s assistance with the investigation of the homicide of Sage Smith. This investigation is active and ongoing. A tip line has been established for information related to Smith’s case (434-970- 3381).
Sage was last seen on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 in the 500 Blk of West Main Street in Charlottesville. Smith’s last known contact was with Erik McFadden, who at the time was living on 14 th Street NW. Police have knowledge that McFadden left the Charlottesville area later that week. McFadden’s whereabouts are unknown and he remains a person of interest in this case.
The Investigation Discovery Channel series Disappeared covered the case in a recent episode title “Born this Way.” CPD is encouraging everyone to watch the show to learn more about the case. They are also asking the community to share the show with friends and family out of state. The show will re-air on May 9, 2018 at 7 p.m. Eastern. It can also be viewed online at www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/disappeared/.
CPD is also asking for the community’s help in Charlottesville and beyond. They are asking anyone with information as to Erik McFadden’s current whereabouts to come forward. Prior to coming to Charlottesville, McFadden lived in Joppatowne, Maryland. He reportedly attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania for a brief period, and has family ties in South Carolina. He is believed to have traveled to New York, Georgia, or Texas after leaving Charlottesville. In addition, while living in Charlottesville, McFadden worked at the Sherwin-Williams Paint Store located on Seminole Trail. We are asking anyone who worked with McFadden at Sherwin-Williams in 2012 to contact police. Police are also asking anyone who had any personal dealings with McFadden during or after 2012, no matter how insignificant, to please contact them.
A $20,000 reward has been established for information that may lead to the location of Sage Smith and or an arrest.