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  1. #1
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    AZ - Laurie 'Allison' Smith, 22, Tucson, 8 Feb 1977

    I am starting this thread on Laurie A Smith because with such a generic name, her case is difficult to research without a DOB. I was able to locate her DOB, which is not publicly available elsewhere.

    Perhaps this can assist others to find a photo of her or additional information regarding the circumstances of her disappearance.



    NamUs MP # 12469 https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/12469/0

    Laurie Allison Smith

    No Photo Available

    LKA
    Last Seen on February 06, 1977 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
    Age LKA: 22 years old
    Circumstances: Not Indicated

    Vital Stats

    DOB: 28-Sep-1954
    Race: White
    Gender: Female
    Height (inches): 67.0
    Weight (pounds): 115.0
    Hair color: Brown (Past Shoulders)
    Eye color: Brown
    Tattoos: Pegasus, believed to be on left shoulder, approximately 1 inch in size

    Clothing and Accessories
    Clothing: Jeans and a dark brown and white sweater - she had her glasses on (normally she wore contacts)
    Jewelry: Silver band on little toe, and a diamond / sapphire ring on finger

    Identifiers
    DNA: Available
    Dentals: Not Available
    Fingerprints: Not Available
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 06-21-2014 at 11:25 PM. Reason: Stats Corrections

  2. #2
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    missingin.org has an entry for her. No new factual information, but in the comments a man claiming to have been her boyfriend has posted his opinion and his email.

  3. #3
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    Looks like DNA is in NamUs.

  4. #4
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    I came across this, and it made me somewhat curious. I decided to send an email to the police department to see if they could provide something since I couldn't locate anything online either. If I get anything back I'll post. It's sad someone is missing/dead and there is no information at all hardly.

  5. #5
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    With Ricochet's help, we found out two key bits of info. (1) Her middle name (and the name that she went by), was Allison. And (2), she was originally from Las Cruces, NM.

    With that info, I was able to find her sophomore and junior year photos from the 1970 and 1971 Las Cruces High School yearbooks.



    Here is another photo of her from the drama club (i.e., The "LCHS Thespians"). She looks quite different with glasses, but this appears to be the same person who appears in the portraits.



    I am pretty sure that I have the right Laurie Smith (despite that it is a common name). The following article comes from the 11-Apr-1968 edition of the Las Cruces Sun News, and tells of the first place award she received from her Girl Scout group for her artwork. She is named using her full name (Laurie Allison Smith), and this corroborates that she lived near Las Cruces (in the city of Chapparal) at that time.

    Last edited by CarlK90245; 02-22-2013 at 01:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    Her bf John, emailed me yesterday and gave the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

    I checked the link and you do seem to have a valid description of Laurie. Her middle name was Allison and she went by that name. When we met it was a few months before her disappearance. I noticed her sitting by herself on the campus at Pima Community College. She seemed like something was bothering her, so I bought a couple giant cokes and introduced myself. The story she told me was more then I was really prepared for. She owed back rent to her landlord and he "offered" to let her pay it off by delivering marijuana for him. The meeting went sour and the drugs were confiscated by fake cops - who let her go with a court summons. Her landlord either didn't believe her or was holding her responsible anyway. She was afraid of what he might do. I offered to come and stay with her at her apartment to make her feel safer.

    Over the next few months we became very close. At some point I had a pressing issue at home and had to leave for a few days. When I got back she was gone. Her sister, who's name I cannot remember, came out from Las Cruces, New Mexico, where her family lived. Together we tried to press the police, and eventually the feds, to look into the landlord and his side business. It came to nothing even though we did our own little investigation, found his contacts out of state, and turned them over to the police. Her abandoned car, a blue convertible karmann ghia, was found abandoned in the next block from her apartment.

    Nothing more happened and eventually her sister went home and I went back to school. There's much more that I could tell I suppose, but those are the facts of the case. Of course I suspect that her landlord was involved in her disappearance, but her sister and I did discuss the possibility that she might have ran off to Canada. Probably wishful thinking.

    Please let me know if you make any progress or if there is anything I can do to help.

    Thank you for caring,

    -John
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 02-22-2013 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Removed hard-returns from quote

  7. #7
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    I received more from John, this morning..

    wow, absolutely. all 3 of the photos you sent are her. i'd say if i had to pick, that the middle one was the most representative of her at the time I met her. Her hair was shorter, nearly the middle of her back but not down to her waist. I think i would recognize her sisters name, she was about the same age, maybe a year older/younger - probably older. honestly i was in such a state that the next few weeks/months were something of a blur. Her name was something simple/normal, like Susan or Debbie. I think i might recognize it - yes. you might check the same school for another smith a year up or down. Same general description.

    I'll forward this photo on to the other site as well. Thank you so much for finding it - Its now the only thing I have to remember her by - except the poem I wrote about her for the creative writing class she got me to join with her. It means alot to be able to see her face, even if it was a few years younger then when we met. After 35 years I couldn't recall her face any more.

    Made my day!

    John

    This is the photo that is most representative of her at the time he met her.


    I say fake cops because - according to what she told me, while they pulled her over with a light on the car they were only interested in what was in the trunk, wore plain clothes, and yes, the summons was fake, I should imagine if they were real she would have been arrested. Also strange was that the car she was supposed to meet with and get the money from was leading her, and stopped as well. when she was pulled over. just odd. I suppose they could have been real cops but that would mean they were bad cops. btw it was something like 200 pounds as i recall. Bearing in mind pot was very cheap back then (yes, i inhaled it was still an awful lot of pot. I was only 16 at the time - the most i had seen would fit in a sandwich baggie. There were 2 of them (cops). They pulled her over, searched her car, confiscated the pot, and sent her home. I'm not even sure if there was a paper summons. I also don't know what if anything she may have said to the other person that also stopped, the one with the money for the exchange. We only talked about the incident that one time, sitting outside the cafeteria at PCC (Pima Community College). It never came up again except in the general discussion of her concern about the landlord.

    We talked there for a couple of hours at PCC, When we left I went home and grabbed a sleeping bag, a change of clothes, and a 22 rifle from my trailer in south Tucson and was at her place late afternoon the same day. She lived right along the main street that took you out to the PCC campus I think, near downtown, in a very tiny efficiency apartment that was attached to the landlords house I think. I cant remember the name of the street - it may have been a turn off the main street for that matter, a cozy neighborhood as i recall - possibly near cherry. I'll have a look at google earth later and see if it jogs my memory.

    Theres alot I cant remember right now, maybe it will all come back in time, now that I have a photo to remind me of her. Thanks so much again for that. We had a very sweet time together over the next few weeks. Each helping the other to overcome shyness. We were playful and loving. I was 16 and she was 21. It was my moment in the sun.

    Back to the facts - You asked about her landlord. All I can recall atm is that his first name was a single syllable, Doug or something. and I think his last name may have been as well. When we werent getting anywhere with the police I called the phone company and said I was him, that a guest of mine had made some long distance calls and wanted to settle up with me, could I please have a copy of the previous months phone bill, maybe it was 2 months... not sure. Any way from that phone bill I found that he was making regular calls to Boise Idaho I think it was, and I fancied that was his out of state connection for the drugs, whether he was buying or selling. We turned that information over to the cops, or the feds, I guess I may have let her sister deal with that part of it as I have no recollection of meeting with them directly.
    Over time I guess we let our gaurd down a bit, we were living together - her fear subsided. I had told some girl that if she ever felt the need to run away from home again to come and get me to help her rather then just leaving - She eventually tried to take me up on it, but i was now living with Allison, My mother called me there and told me I had a girl looking for me that said I had promised to take care of her. I had to go and handle that and it took a few days, While I was gone Allision disappeared. I blamed myself of course. I should have never left her there.

    Out of order and somewhat backwards thats as much as I recall atm. let me know if you have anymore questions, It feels good to at least get her story told. If nothing else she is not forgotten.

    I have a doctors appt so I'll wrap this up and get it off, look for a reply later.

    regards

    John
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 04-10-2013 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Removed hard-returns from quotes.

  8. #8
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    What a sad and interesting inside take on a MP. Thanks for posting those.

    Given her financial state (broke) I am not sure she would want to take off to Canada rather than back to NM on her own.

    She didn't feel threatened enough to leave the apartment immediately, but she let a stranger (albeit a younger, possibly less threatening teen boy) come live with her. Too trusting? Naive, perhaps? IDK. It leads me to believe that IF she did leave the area voluntarily, perhaps she left with another man.

    The landlord is indeed suspect here, but why would he want to kill her weeks after the fact? It didn't sound like he was pressuring her/threatening her too much (else I would assume she would have left or the boyfriend would have mentioned it specifically). It also doesn't sound as if the landlord had anything to fear from her. I suppose the landlord could have been a creep who approached her while she was alone and asked her for "payment" again- and something went wrong.

    Now, that we have a clear picture we have something more to go on, at least!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deca View Post
    The landlord is indeed suspect here, but why would he want to kill her weeks after the fact? It didn't sound like he was pressuring her/threatening her too much (else I would assume she would have left or the boyfriend would have mentioned it specifically). It also doesn't sound as if the landlord had anything to fear from her.
    It looks like revenge to me. He probably suspected that she was pulling one over on him, and killed her out of pure revenge. He probably didn't have the opportunity, or perhaps decided that if he tried to exact revenge while the bf was around, it would have been much messier and more complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by deca View Post
    I suppose the landlord could have been a creep who approached her while she was alone and asked her for "payment" again- and something went wrong.
    Certainly this guy sounds like a creep. After all, what kind of guy gets involved in high-volume drug dealing, but gets a young girl barely out of her teens to assume all of the risk (both legally and to her safety) while he sits back and pockets the profits.
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 02-22-2013 at 09:38 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks folks

    Hi folks,

    My name is John - I was the person that posted the request for information on missingin that led Carl to posting this entry here at websleuths, and to track down her photo (thanks for that!).

    I just want to thank you all for your efforts here. Ricochet has been tirelessly helping me track down whatever information is available out there. Today I spoke to the detective in charge of her case. From him I was able to identify the landlord and collect several other bits of information. Ricochet and I spent a fair bit of the evening researching him tonight and passing links back and forth via email.

    I'm not sure how much information I should post here - his name, the address, any legal reasons why that information shouldn't be posted?

    As ricochet discovered tonight the man is dead. died in 2011.

    A creep? 12 years before Allison disappeared he was accused of murdering his wife. 3 trials, 2 hung juries and 1 mistrial. I guess the state gave up after that. I can't blame them, but if they hadn't Allison would probably be alive today.

    The details of that case are like a bad movie. He was having money problems - had creditors to pay and his business was failing. He had his wife take out a life insurance policy on herself and name him as the beneficiary, with a double indemnity clause for accidental death.

    Since she was the company's treasurer I'm sure she was aware of the financial problems and his insistence on the policy is what probably put her in fear for her life. She wrote 2 legal documents to voice her concern and to say that she wanted the money from the policy to go to her kids and not him. She was apparently afraid to contact the insurance agency directly in case he would be alerted to the change in beneficiary. 2 months later she died in a car accident just as she foretold. The car was burned completely, her with it. He was hospitalized for shock, but no serious injuries.

    3 weeks later they arrested him after determining that the car fire was set intentionally. I'm not sure why the hung juries, I didn't see any evidence that did not point to him.

    1. The timing on the policy. 2 months? geez, patience.
    2. Her will stating she feared he would stage an accident.
    3. The accident itself, he said she was driving but a gas attendant put him behind the wheel.
    4. The car burned so completely it was obvious that it had been doused with gas inside and out. expert testimony.
    5. His very presence at the scene is pretty strong evidence that only he could have set the fire...
    6. Her head was bashed in. Not as a result of the accident.

    But hung jury he got, twice over. The 3rd trial his lawyer hired a private plane to fly him to Mexico, got drunk, and didn't show up for trial. mistrial. nice trick.

    So yea... he's a creep. The question is did the creep kill Allison 12 years later. I'm convinced that he did but I doubt there will be any proof of it at this point.

    I'll' talk to the detective again this week I hope, after he pulls the file and figures out what he can tell me. With the landlords death this is probably more about making sure Allison's story is told then it is about resolving the case. Unless there is another version.

    Thank you all for helping me tell her story.

    - John


  11. #11
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    I'm doing namus searches right now to see if maybe I can find her..

    John, you mentioned that he had been calling Idaho. Do you know if he had ties to other areas?

  12. #12
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    Okay so I got a handful. I wish they had her dental charts or some sort of dental information on her page. I'd do anything to know if she had her wisdom teeth removed or not, that'd help me narrow it down quite a bit.

    The only one I could find on namus that fit the circumstances that was also in Arizona was this one:
    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/1979
    The chances that this is her are ridiculously low.

    So I instead thought about the Boise possibility, there are no UIDs matching her circumstances in Idaho, so maybe he dropped her off somewhere? So I then started checking UIDs on the way to Boise and found several who actually appeared to be dumped there. So here are those:

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/391
    This one seems the most promising in my mind, she was found on the side of the road on I-15 (Which, on the drive to Boise, he would have been on).
    Reasons why it might not be her:
    It does say that her estimated year of death is 1979 (She was found in October 1979), AND it says that her estimated height is 5'4 and her weight was 127, BUT she was a "Partial skeletal parts only," I'm interested on how accurate all that information would be.

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/234
    Here's another one found in Las Vegas. She was found in 2001 and there's no real evidence pointing that this is not Laurie.

  13. #13
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    Welcome, John.

    I would love to know your opinion about Laurie's attitude towards the landlord. She was obviously somewhat scared of him given that she asked/let you come live with her for protection. Do you think while you were away she would have accepted a job from him (delivering product)? In that scenario, she COULD be in another place far from AZ. If you think she would have said no, she, sadly, is probably out in the desert.

  14. #14
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    It is VERY doubtful she ever left the state of AZ. There would be no reason to. In someways it seems very calculated to me. She is under the impression she is going to deliver the marijuana which was packed in a different car. Her car was found a block away. She leaves voluntarily, no scene is created. They meet up somewhere in the state of AZ to do the exchange, and meets her demise, and disposed of somewhere in the desert. It wouldn't make sense to take her out of state to a more populated area where she would likely be found.
    Last edited by Ricochet; 02-27-2013 at 09:24 PM.

  15. #15
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    So what do you think the landlord's motive was? To keep her quiet? She hadn't gone to the police about the situation yet.

    I wonder if he was made cautious by the earlier situation of almost being put away for his wife's death, or was he made over confidant by his success.

    If he was made cautious, I suspect she is far out in the desert and has not been discovered. If he was over confidant, my guess is she is a Doe that was discovered within an hour or so of the area. JMO

    Whatever the case, I am not sure what we can do except go through the databases. I am going to start tonight and see if I can come up with any more. I know EmmaliLucia came up with some but not sure what databases she uses.

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