VA - Erica Smith, 14, Ashburn, 29 July 2002

Discussion in 'Resolved Cold Cases' started by always reading, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. always reading

    always reading Active Member

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    I saw a post about this on FB, so I decided to post about it. This case really saddened me:

    In the summer of 2002, 14-year-old Erica Heather Smith had just completed the eighth grade in Ashburn, Va., a suburb of Washington D.C. She was enjoying her summer vacation, and all of the freedom that came along with it.

    On July 29, 2002, Erica was at home babysitting her 10-year-old brother, Billy, while their parents were at work. Around lunchtime, Erica told her brother she was heading out to meet a friend, and that she'd be back in a little while.

    Cops say two hikers were walking through the woods when they stumbled upon a shallow grave. Buried beneath the dirt were the remains of a teenage girl.

    On August 19, 2002, Erica was laid to rest, only days before she was supposed to start her freshman year of high school.

    http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=46879
     
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  3. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    From the AMW article, it appears that Erica was a troubled young lady, arranging meetings with older men and keeping a diary of her various trysts. According to friends, she was excited in the days before her disappearance about the return of one of her older 'friends' from a family vacation in Europe. On the morning of her disappearance, according to another of her boyfriends, the friend whom she had been anxiously awaiting had returned and had promised to take her on a shopping spree to a local mall.

    Authorities have yet to identify this person.

    One of the primary clues that police have is a small sticker found near Erica's body, believed to be a manufacturer's tag. Police have been unable to identify the tag as of yet, but believe it to be of European origin.
     

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  4. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

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    Upon doing some online research, I've found that others have attempted to identify the tag as well. For the most part, it appears that the tag is believed to read "30 E FQC".
    However, I personally don't believe the character following the "30" is the letter "E", but is in fact a symbol of some sort, most likely European in origin... Possibly the British pound symbol ( £ ) or the symbol for the Swiss franc. (Interestingly, "FQC" is an acronym for "FIFA Quality Concepts", or a program of the International Federation of Football to standardize quality in soccer products. FIFA is based in Zurich, Switzerland; Erica played soccer, and as I discovered via an internet search soccer appears to be very popular in the area in which she lived).
     
  5. Duckiegirl

    Duckiegirl New Member

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    It looks to me to be a sticker/tag that you find on shoes, to tell you the size. In the U.K they are usually found on the bottom of shoe but sometimes can be found inside the shoe. If it is to tell the size, then it would most likely be Europe.

    It doesn't look like the pound symbol to me if you take in the bit which has slightly been faded at the top left of the 'E'
     
  6. always reading

    always reading Active Member

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    "One of Erica's other boyfriends told cops that the morning she disappeared, she had called him, bragging that the older guy was back from Europe and was taking her on a shopping spree at a local mall that afternoon.

    Just a short time after that phone call, Erica walked out of her house, never to return again. She was found wearing the same clothes she left the house in that day, leading cops to believe the person who came to pick her up is possibly the guy who'd just returned from Europe.

    Cops say they haven't pinpointed who this person is -- but they believe several people who knew Erica at the time of her murder do."

    I'm really surprised that they weren't able to find a suspect through phone records.
     
  7. neverletgo

    neverletgo Active Member

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    Erica's missing persons case and subsequent murder was featured on TV One's 'Find Our Missing' recently:

    Find Our Missing: Shawndell McLeod; Erica Smith

    Also:

    http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/wordpress/2013/03/the-season-finale-of-find-our-missing-airs-on-tv-one-tonight-89-c/
     
  8. neverletgo

    neverletgo Active Member

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  9. always reading

    always reading Active Member

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    An update-hopefully that can make an arrest:

    Ten years after the murder Loudoun County formed a cold-case detective team that has been reviewing the evidence, statements to police and the timeline, with some success, though no specifics have been released.

    Hairs collected at the time Erica’s body was found were tested in 2002, and were re-submitted for testing and DNA analysis in 2012, but no results have been made public at this time. A sticker that could be a label or tag possibly from a European manufacturer was found near Erica’s body, but investigators have not been able to identify it.

    http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/blog/article/unsolved-child-murder-erica-heather-smith/index.html
     
  10. neverletgo

    neverletgo Active Member

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    :bump: for Erica . . . and an article from last year that I didn't see posted:

    ’10 Years Is Too Long’: Sheriff’s Office, Family Revive Efforts To Solve Erica Smith Homicide
    Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 9:38 am
    Updated: 11:52 am, Tue Aug 28, 2012


    Snipped:

    The rest of the article -- along with five pictures -- can be found here:

    http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/years-is-too-long-sheriff-s-office-family-revive-efforts/article_fb95772c-dfcb-11e1-ac20-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=story
     
  11. always reading

    always reading Active Member

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    I really hope they are able to make an arrest. This case has really touched me since I have a teenage daughter also.
     
  12. thistle

    thistle Member

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    It's heartbreaking, no family should have to live through this, I can"t even imagine how they've suffered...I hope they find the criminal who destroyed this family.
     
  13. ladyballplayer

    ladyballplayer New Member

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    This young girl was the \much loved daughter of a co-worker and friend of my husbands. Each year that passes, we hope someone will come forward and provide the information that is needed to solve this case. Someone knows what happened to Erica, they may have just been a teenager when it happened. They need to be brave and come forward now, these parents needs answer and Erica needs justice.

    This is not the first murdered teenager that has touched my family. Tayor Behl (VCU student) was my husbands good friends daughter. My only hope Erica's murder finds the same fate.Her murderer was found, tried and sent to prison. I on
     
  14. meanmaryjean

    meanmaryjean Verified RN (Pediatrics Specialty)

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    I'm wondering if the tag symbol that's been debated is actually the symbol for Euro- the standardized currency in the European Union?
     
  15. kilahchris

    kilahchris New Member

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    I am wondering if Erica Heather Smith met Men from instant messenger chat rooms such as AOL or Yahoo that were very popular among young teenagers in 2002. AOL and Yahoo was a tool that many Child predators would use to lure children into conversations about sex and eventually meeting up with them. The security problem was not as known and as widespread back in 2002 as it is today. Shows like to Catch a Predator basically brought national attention to the problem. And as such Yahoo and many major chat forum companies started to monitor the types of chats were going on and engaged with Law Enforcement on a national level got involved to help catch the pedophiles.




    Did the Virginia Law Enforcement ever conduct a forensic search on any computer that was in the Smith household at the time? There could be critical evidence that was overlooked.
    It is my strong belief that Erica Heather Smith killer was a man she met through internet chat. Random Pedophile who lured her, I do not think the site where her body was found was the place she was killed.
     
  16. popsicle

    popsicle faith hope love

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  17. popsicle

    popsicle faith hope love

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  18. popsicle

    popsicle faith hope love

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    Fox5 News did an interview with the family. LE told them that the man who murdered her was 18 at the time and he killed himself 2 yrs ago, at the 10yr anniversary mark... same time frame when they announced the reopening of the case. jmo
     
  19. OkieGranny

    OkieGranny <b><span style="color:#660033;">WS Forum Coordinat Forum Coordinators

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    http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/261167...-linked-to-2002-murder-of-loudoun-county-girl

     
  20. jns207

    jns207 New Member

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    I stumbled upon something reminding me of Erica's case this evening and just emerged from a several hour sleuthing session regarding the deceased suspect. After messing around with dozens of different search parameters on virginia-obits.com and coming up with only two semi-potential individuals, I resorted back to a simple google search containing the town, the year, and the manner of death. And bingo! I thought I'd found a good possibility, and a quick search including his name and her name supported my suspicion, but only via social media. But then I took out the last name and I found the following MSM source which quotes her father at length:
    www.loudountimes.com/news/article/justice_for_erica

     

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