January 3, 2013
Family and friends of missing man, Dashad "Sage" Smith protested in front of Charlottesville City Hall on Thursday. They were voicing their discontent with city officials and law enforcement. They say the key to finding Smith is to obtain state and federal help.
"Trying to hold up the best that I can, but it's just getting harder to hold on to faith," said Dashad's grandmother, Lolita Smith.
The transgender man went missing six weeks ago. Family members say they want the FBI and Virginia State Police to get involved in the search effort.
Police say crews are out at an Henrico County landfill excavating dirt and sifting through trash. They hope to find any clues that will lead them to Smith.
"I'm finding out that searching a landfill over a month later is a little bit delayed," said family friend, Bemeche Hicks. "Searching just one landfill when I understand garbage from this city goes to other landfills."
"I really don't know what else to do. This is my grand baby and I love him," said Smith. "He is my oldest grandchild. I have 14 and he's my oldest."
Family and friends say they're waiting for Smith's return, but they won't wait quietly.
The family is asking for donations to help hire a private investigator. Funds can be sent to Sojourners United Church of Christ in Charlottesville.