It’s been two long years for the Smith family; their trans-female child Sage went missing Nov. 20th, 2012, but all hope is not lost.
Charlottesville Police recently increased the reward for information leading them to Smith from $10K to $20K.
Sage was last seen in Charlottesville at West Main Street at 4th Street NW. She disappeared shortly after, as did any signal from her cell phone. Police are also looking for another man, Erik McFadden, now 23, who was sought for questioning about Sage shortly after her disappearance.
McFadden spoke with police after the disappearance, but hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Police admit the investigation is hard because they have no evidence a crime was committed – this is why McFadden, who told police a supposed meeting between Sage and him never happened, has only been sought for questioning and not had a warrant put out for his arrest.
Smith would turn 22 this year. Police have followed a number of leads since Smith went missing. But searches at a Richmond landfill, as well as around UVA campus, yielded no clues.
“He is someone’s friend, someone’s grandson, someone’s brother,” Latasha Grooms, Smiths mother, told C-Ville.com last year. Grooms used male pronouns throughout the conversation. “He’s missed and he’s loved. We want to know what happened, where he is. If anyone knows anything, please says something.”
Smith’s disappearance coincided with the 2012 Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international day to memorialize people who were victims of trans-phobic violence in the last year.
Part of the TDoR program involves reading names, and Smiths name was read as part of the role here in Richmond.
Police urge anyone with information on Smith or McFadden to contact Detective Ron Stayments of the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3369 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.
Richmond’s 2014 Transgender Day of Remembrance happens this Thursday, 11/20, at the Byrd Theatre.