Transgender teen has been missing, presumed dead in Va. for 7 years

Dashad “Sage” Smith and Erik Tyquan McFadden
Dashad “Sage” Smith and Erik Tyquan McFadden(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 20, 2019 at 1:30 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Wednesday, Nov. 20 marks seven years since a transgender teen was last seen alive.

Dashad “Sage” Smith, 19, was last seen near the Charlottesville Amtrak station around 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2012. Smith's disappearance was reclassified as a homicide in 2016, though a body has never been found.

Earlier this year, a person of interest - Erik McFadden - was


Police believe he’s the last person to have contact with Smith.

“This is a loss that is different from other losses because there is no closure. It’s like you can’t finish grieving; it’s a continuance untied feeling that hits me,” said Smith’s mother, LaTasha Dennis, earlier this year.

“With every milestone I reach, I wish he was able to be there getting my license, graduation, scholarship ceremonies or college move-in day, but he is not,” said Eanna Langston, Smith’s sister.

Charlottesville Police are pushing for the public’s help in finding McFadden. The two were planning to meet that evening, and what happened after remains a mystery.

Detectives had brief contact with McFadden right after Smith disappeared seven years ago.

McFadden was supposed to come in to the police station, but never showed and hasn't been heard from since.

“We believe Eric has ties to the Joppa/Baltimore Maryland area, Rochester, New York, Columbia, South Carolina, Lake City, South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania,” said Lead Detective Regine Wright earlier this year.

Charlottesville Police are offering a $10,000 reward and the city is matching that $10,000 for any information leading to an arrest in Smith’s case.

If you can help police find McFadden or you know what happened to Sage Smith, you can call anonymously to the Charlottesville-area Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.