11-25-2010, 07:42 AM #1
NC - Timothy Smart, 25, Boiling Spring Lakes, 15 July 1995
According to Smart's missing-person file at the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department, he was last seen July 15, headed to a job with a trucking company in Camden, S.C., where he was set to begin working two days later.
A friend Smart had been staying with told investigators Smart left hitchhiking at about 7 a.m. on the 15th. He had little or no money, according to the file.
Smart had been charged with DWI and was out on bond awaiting trial. But his girlfriend, who lived in North Dakota, told investigators Smart had seemed optimistic when they last spoke, and eager to put the problem behind him. She told police Smart was outgoing, with a "habit of telling his life story to bartenders and waitresses," according to the court file.
Smart never arrived at his new job, and, after not hearing from him for a couple of weeks, his mother called from California and reported him missing to Boiling Spring Lakes police.
That summer, a Boiling Spring Lakes investigator suspected foul play, according to the file.
He asked neighboring departments for information on any unidentified deaths and also asked other police departments to check their jails.
Smart drank heavily and could have been arrested for disorderly conduct, the investigator wrote. But by the fall, with no leads, the investigator asked the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation for help.
And by April 1996, a police memo shows detectives believed without new information a credible investigation was no longer possible. The investigator who worked the case in the 1990s, M.E. Parsons, is no longer with Boiling Spring Lakes police.
Lt. Curtis Ledbetter, a current employee of the department, reviewed Smart's file about 18 months ago after bones were discovered which appeared similar to Smart's description.
Although tests on the bones, which weren't found in Southeastern North Carolina, were negative, Ledbetter said, he believes something bad happened to Smart, but he doesn't know what.
That he suddenly stopped calling his mother and hasn't been heard from in a decade indicate foul play, Ledbetter said. He also said it's possible Smart's remains have been found and buried but never identified.
As for the investigation, Ledbetter said he agreed with the former investigator - police need someone to tell them something for them to figure out what happened.
"It seems like to me every lead has been followed," Ledbetter said. "They talked to everybody they can talk to."
Gaile Smart kept up with an SBI investigator for years after Tim disappeared, though she says she hasn't heard anything in a long time. Authorities told her Southeastern North Carolina has many places where a body could be hidden and never found, she said. On Sunday, Smart said, she was surprised to receive a call about her son.
The CUE Center for Missing Persons, based in Wilmington, picked up Smart's case in 1998. And CUE founder Monica Caison said she's searched wooded areas in Brunswick County for Smart's body, without success. She said if he were found, his bones would be recognizable to authorities. Smart was about 6 feet 1 inch tall and wore a large rodeo-style belt buckle. Caison keeps a box with his personal items - everything from a baby tooth to cigarette butts - so authorities could get his DNA should bones, matching Smart's description be found, she said.
Allison Aubin, an administrative assistant who has worked at the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department for four years, says Smart's case isn't closed.
Several times a year, Aubin says, she runs Smart's Social Security number and other personal information through databases to see if he's taken a job, been arrested or signed up for housing or utilities."
08-10-2011, 05:43 AM #2
I sent an e-mail to Chief of Police Ballree at the Boiling Spring Lakes PD. He replied saying that unfortunately there had been no new information or updates.
08-20-2011, 11:11 AM #3
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