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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    FL - Cindy Smith, 26, Winter Haven, 3 April 1987

    Cindy Lee Smith
    Missing since April 3, 1987 from Winter Haven, Polk County, Florida
    Classification: Missing
    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: September 15, 1960
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 26 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2"; 102 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; green eyes.
    Dentals/Fingerprints: Not available

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Cindy Smith was last seen on April 3, 1987 leaving work. She was picked up by her boyfriend. According to family she was leaving her boyfriend that weekend and moving out. Her boyfriend alleged she went to Daytona Beach with an unknown male.

    Cindy has never been heard from since. She left behind her parents, sister, brother, and her adored 7-year-old son. She left behind her job at Kmart, her car, her two dogs and a tax refund she never picked up.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

    Polk County Sheriff's Office
    Detective Ivan Navarro

    Agency Case Number: 1987-031876
    NCIC Number: M-319426446
    Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

    Source Information:
    Polk County Sheriff's Office
    The Doe Network: Case File 1766DFFL

    Last edited by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed; 05-06-2010 at 08:56 PM. Reason: updated doe network link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Connected cases??

    Check out the following two cases - both are also from Polk County. Notice any possible links?

    Peggy Wynell Byars-Baisden, 23, Missing 2 April 1965 from Highland City, FL

    Mary Margaret Cook Missing 14 Nov 1970 from Highland City, FL


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I put more of Cindy's info on her Charley Project page: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/s/smith_cindy.html It looks like her boyfriend did it, but who knows?

    Cindy's nephew is missing also. Some families just really hit the lottery for bad luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Coincidence, or possible linked case?

    The following case is also posted here on Websleuths as a Cold Case. Note that these two disappearances occurred within 5 months of each other and in the same Southern Florida County. Could there be a connection?

    It is possible that these two cases are only connected by the coincidence of locality and circumstances, and that both disapperances are due to husband/boy friend violence. But, could there be a preditor who targets young women who are having trouble in their home life?

    Angela Renae Ambrocio
    Missing since November 14, 1986 from Lakeland, Polk County, Florida
    Classification: Missing
    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: July 13, 1967
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 19 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2"; 95 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde or strawberry hair; blue eyes.
    Marks, Scars: She has scars on her left leg from a dog bite; scar on abdomen.
    Clothing: She was last seen wearing a checkered blouse and blue jean pants.
    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Ambrocio was last seen by her husband, Avelino Ambrocio, after they argued on November 14, 1986. He dropped her off at the Church's Fried Chicken restaurant on Memorial Blvd in Lakeland, Florida.

    She was reported missing to detectives on November 19, 1986, by her sister. She was employed as a waitress at the time of her disappearance.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Bumping this case up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Case of Missing Winter Haven Woman Remains Active

    20 years have passed since Cindy Lee disappeared. In searching for an update, I ran across this article written when she had been missing for 18 years...
    Case of Missing Winter Haven Woman Remains Active
    Wednesday, October 5, 2005
    By Dana Willhoit
    The Ledger
    Dana Willhoit
    Courts Reporter

    In a photo:

    Carrol Sparrow, left, sits at his dining room table with wife Elsie, center, and daughter Debra Lucas, and displays a 1980s photo of his three eldest children -- Cindy Lee Smith, left, Daryl Sparrow and Debra. The photo is the last taken of Cindy before she was last seen in April 1987.

    William Donald Taylor, her boyfriend, told sheriff's detectives that Smith and he were getting along just fine. But the last time he saw her she told him she was going to Daytona Beach, and she got into a car with a man he didn't know and left.

    Her family doesn't believe it.

    "She would not leave us like that," her mother, Elsie Sparrow, said recently.

    According to Elsie and Carrol Sparrow, Smith's parents, Smith and her son. Shane (from Cindy's ex-husband, Wayne Smith), were living with Taylor in Winter Haven at the time.

    Smith told her parents that she was leaving Taylor. She asked them whether she and Shane could move in with them; they were supposed to meet her at the house she shared with Taylor that weekend to help her move her things.

    On Friday, April 3, 1987, co-workers at Kmart on Havendale Boulevard saw Smith get into Taylor's car, and the two drove away, according to Detective Ivan Navarro of the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

    Navarro is a member of the sheriff's cold case squad, and Smith's case is one that he's actively working.

    Smith never called her parents that weekend.

    "I figured she changed her mind," Elsie Sparrow said, sitting at her kitchen table and gently touching a framed picture of her daughter. In the picture Smith is smiling, frozen in time, her brown hair styled in a Farrah Fawcett flip.

    But on Monday, April 6, Elsie got a telephone call that filled her with fear.
    Smith's supervisor at Kmart called and asked why Smith hadn't shown up at work.

    "When she was missing, I was afraid immediately that something had happened to her," Elsie said.

    Elsie and Carrol felt that their daughter's case was ignored by the Sheriff's Office at the time. They called to report her missing as soon as Smith's supervisor called them, Carrol said, but no one from the Sheriff's Office came to speak to them for three weeks.

    When the sheriff's deputies came, Elsie said, they acted as if they thought Smith just left on her own.

    About a month after Smith disappeared, Carrol said, he heard that Taylor was selling Smith's things in the front yard of the home they shared.
    He went over to her house with a male relative and they searched the house, Carrol said. They found Smith's mattress, bloodstained, inside the house.

    They immediately called the Sheriff's Office, and the Sheriff's Office collected the mattress.

    There were tests done on the mattress, but they were only to determine blood type, because forensic science wasn't as advanced in 1987, Navarro said. The mattress eventually was discarded in the 1990s, with no samples preserved, and the blood tests that were done at the time couldn't be used to determine identity, Navarro said.

    Her family did everything they could think of to look for her, Elsie said. "We called all of her friends that I could think of. We put ads in the paper. We handed out flyers. We hired a private detective, but he never turned up anything."

    Their frantic search failed to find any sign of Smith. Shane went to live with Smith's ex-husband Wayne. Smith seems to have vanished off the face of the Earth.

    "At the time there was such a sense of urgency," her mother said. "We felt like if we didn't find her right away, something would happen to her. Now we know that something did happen."

    After all this time, her family is sure she's dead. In fact, Detective Navarro recently took DNA samples from Elsie and Carrol Sparrow so he could compare it to a Florida database of Jane and John Does -- unidentified bodies that have been found over the years.

    He plans to start questioning people close to the case as well. As for Cindy's ex-boyfriend William Taylor, Navarro will say only "He's a person of interest."

    Telephone messages left for Taylor seeking comment for this article were not returned.

    Over the years, the Sparrow family seems to have lived under a black cloud of tragedy. Smith's 15-year-old sister died in a traffic accident. And, in a bizarre and horrible coincidence, Smith is not the only missing person in the family. The 4-year-old son of Smith's sister, Debra, went missing in 1985, two years before Smith disappeared.

    Debra was living in Winter Haven at the time and had just gone through a divorce. She let her ex-husband's sister, Delany Davison, care for her three children in Decatur, Ill., according to a Ledger article from October 1985.

    Davison told police that she went into a supermarket one day and left 4-year-old T.J. Davison in the car for about half an hour, with the doors unlocked. When she came out, she told police, T.J. was gone.

    He's never been found, and Decatur police still consider the case to be open.

    Smith's family is still hoping that somehow, they'll get some answers to what happened to her. Perhaps whoever took Smith is feeling remorse after all this time, or perhaps the person talked about it with someone else.

    Anyone with any information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-266-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous and can receive cash rewards for tips that lead to an arrest.

    Dana Willhoit can be reached at dana.willhoit@theledger.com or 863-802-7550.


    "Not Forgotten: Polk's Unsolved Murders" is a periodic series focusing on unsolved homicide cases being examined by Polk County's Cold Case Assessment Team and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

    Anyone with any information regarding this or any other unsolved homicide should visit the team's Web site, www.coldcaseteam.com, or call the Polk County Sheriff's Office Crimestoppers at 800-226-TIPS (8477).




  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Detective Collects New DNA Samples in 1987 Winter Haven Cold Case

    Every so often detectives come calling, but the outcome is always the same: Nothing new on Cindy Lee Smith, a single mother from Winter Haven who left work one day in 1987 and vanished.

    Maybe this time it will be different.

    Smith's parents, Elsie and Carrol Sparrow, were visited Tuesday afternoon by a detective from the Polk County Sheriff's Office's cold case squad. It was the second such visit in five years.

    Detective Chris Lynn swabbed their cheeks for DNA samples that will be fed to a national database on missing persons and unidentified remains.

    The Sparrows cling to hope that any interest in their daughter's disappearance may lead to her whereabouts, or at least allay their fear.

    "Every time a body's found, or bones, we think it's her," said Elsie Sparrow, 69, a medical transcriptionist at Winter Haven Hospital.


    The Sparrows also learned Tuesday that the only person of interest in their daughter's disappearance, William Donald Taylor, died in November 2007. He and Smith, 26, had lived together with Smith's 6-year-old son from a previous marriage.

    Last edited by Rle7; 03-25-2010 at 06:58 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    BORN: 9 Sep 1960 1
    DIED: 19 Nov 2007 (V)
    LAST RESIDENCE: 33880 (Winter Haven, Polk, FL)
    LAST BENEFIT: (none specified)
    SS# issued in Florida and available as public record on Social Security Death Index

    Polk County Sheriff has one born 9/19/1960 with picture for aggravated assault / dv.


    Another William Taylor born 9/19/1960.

    Okay, this is the same person as I ran him by his SS#:

    It appears he was charged with several counts of battery but they appear to be dropped. How unfortunate.
    Last edited by Susan1; 04-03-2010 at 11:34 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    25 years missing....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Illinois/St. Louis
    for Cindy. Tomorrow it will be 26 years that she's been missing.

    Here a , there a , everywhere a

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