Case Type: Endangered Date of Birth: January 1, 1993 Missing Date: November 20, 2012 Age Now: 21 Missing City: Charlottesville Missing State: Virginia Gender: Male/Transgender Race: Black Complexion: Medium Height: 5’11” Weight: 130 Hair Color: Black Hair Length: Long Eye Color: Brown Wear Glasses or Contacts: No
Location Last Seen: The 500 block of West Main Street in Charlottesville around 6:30 p.m.
Circumstances of Disappearance: Smith was supposed to be meeting a man for a date on the evening she disappeared. Dashad Smith, who dresses as both a man and a woman, has not contacted her family since she disappeared. She also missed a planned Thanksgiving dinner with her mother.
Police searched a landfill just over a year ago looking for evidence.
“I hope they find Dashad, whether it’s him or evidence of anything that was thrown away,” said Smith’s mother, Latasha Grooms, at the time.
Unfortunately, no new clues were found.
Lt. Ronnie Roberts of Charlottesville Police told NewsOne in an interview that the case is still under “active investigation.”
An investigator recently traveled to the Tidewater area to follow up on a reported sighting, but it also turned up no new clues.
Police are also still hoping to find a man named Erik T. McFadden (pictured below left) whom police have described as a “person of interest” in the case, said Roberts.
According to police, McFadden, 22, who attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, admitted to having phone contact with Smith the day she went missing. The pair was supposed to have met up at an Amtrak station but never did. McFadden told police he traveled to New York City the week Smith disappeared. McFadden broke off contact with authorities and has not been seen since, police say.
McFadden has not been charged with or accused of a crime, but police would like to speak with him again.
Before moving to Charlottesville and finding work at a local paint store, McFadden lived in Joppatowne, Md. He is an avid runner. A picture recently released by police shows McFadden with medium length dreadlocks, but authorities believe he may have cut his hair short.
“McFadden remains a person of interest,” said Roberts.
There is also a $10,000 reward for information in the case.
“The investigators are working on the case in the hopes that we find something positive,” said Roberts. “It’s still an active case. We are still following up on leads, because we have a responsibility to Dashad and the family.”
Smith’s mother told the website C-ville that she wants to find out what happened to her child.
“He is someone’s friend, someone’s grandson, someone’s brother,” said Grooms. “He’s missed and he’s loved. We want to know what happened, where he is. If anyone knows anything, please says something.”
Last Seen Wearing: A black jacket, dark-gray sweatpants, a black scarf, and gray boots.
Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Smith dresses as both a male and female.
Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Dashad Laquinn Smith or the whereabouts of Erik T. McFadden may contact Charlottesville Police at (434) 970-3280 or Crimestoppers at (434) 977-4000. You may also contact the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.