December 22, 2012
Family members and supporters gathered at Sojourner United Church of Christ in Charlottesville for a praise rally, hoping for the return of missing man Dashad "Sage" Smith.
"I'm not giving up, I will never give up," said Smith's father, Dean Smith. "This is a feeling that you cannot put no title on it, it's a feeling that I never felt before."
A former teacher recalled her first interaction with the 20-year-old.
"In the beginning of class one year, he was sitting in the front row, and I was introducing myself as one of his teachers. I could tell right away that Sage and I, we were really going to have a connection. He just had one of those smiles to him," said Patti Flynn.
Family members say police efforts are not enough, despite the department's evidence search in a Henrico County landfill earlier this week. Police Chief Tim Longo during a press conference Tuesday said he didn't think Smith's case is going to end well.
"There's a myriad of factors that don't make me feel good about this case, but I can't point to something specific and say, 'Here is why I know this isn't going to have a happy ending," said Longo.
Family members don't agree with Longo's opinion. They say their next step is to continue their efforts, calling on state police and the FBI for help.
"Go in your room, call your child, tell your child you love them, you appreciate them, because don't nobody want to feel this pain I'm going through right now. Don't nobody want to feel this," said Smith.
The Charlottesville Police Department has received an anonymous donation of $10,000 to give as a reward for information in the disappearance of Dashad "Sage" Smith.