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Missing Woman: Jeffrey Lynn Smith - AR - 12/4/1985

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Age Progressed Photo


DOB:  Oct 12, 1969
Missing:  Dec 4, 1985
Sex:  Female
Race:  Black
Hair:  Brown
Eyes:  Brown
Height:  5'3" (160 cm)
Weight:  110 lbs (50 kg)
Missing From:
United States

Lynn's photo is shown age-progressed to 38 years. She was last seen on December 4, 1985. Lynn's ears are pierced. She has a mole on the right side of her chin. Lynn was last seen wearing pink pants, a brown jacket, and tan shoes. She also goes by the name Jeffrey Lynn Smith.

Hot Springs Police Department (Arkansas) 1-501-321-6789

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Project Jason Profile:

Name:  Jeffrey Smith

Alias:  Goes by middle name, Lynn

Date of Birth:  10/12/1969

Date Missing:  12/04/1985

Age at time of disappearance:  16

City Missing From:  Hot Springs

State Missing From:  Arkansas

Gender:  Female

Race:  Black

Height:  5 ft 3 in

Weight:  110 lbs

Hair Color:  Brown

Eye Color:  Brown

Complexion:  Medium brown

Identifying Characteristics:  Mole on right side of her chin

Clothing: Pink pants, a brown jacket, and tan shoes

Circumstances of Disappearance:  Lynn was last seen walking home from school with her boyfriend. She was just a few blocks from home. She did not arrive and was never heard from again.

Medical Conditions:  None

Investigative Agency:  Hot Springs Police Department

Agency Phone:  (501) 321-6793

Investigative Case #:  8510374/02L002125 

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Project Jason is pleased to announce an addition to the main page of our website. Along with the Featured Missing Adult and Featured Missing Child, we are adding a section called "Always Remembered". Just as with the other featured persons, those in "Always Remembered" will remain on the main page for one month.

The new section was created to renew awareness for the long-term missing, and we encourage our readers to take another look at the case, and place posters where appropriate. It also reflects the Project Jason motto: "All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance."

Please see to view the Always Remembered case.

Jeffrey Lynn Smith was the first Always Remembered featured case.

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September 24, 2010

Two Missing Toddlers, Two Different Media Responses

By Carole Moore

When a two-year-old Florida child named Caylee Anthony disappeared on July 15, 2008, the national press followed the case with relentless devotion. New stories chronicling the investigation into the toddler’s disappearance appeared every day, often based on tidbits gleaned from unnamed sources or Caylee’s family. When the little girl’s remains were discovered not far from her grandparents’ home, no one was surprised: Her mother, Casey, already resided in the local jail. The tragic case drew lots of attention, both from police and the media.

Law enforcement has grown to understand the importance of speed in working disappearances. Although they still have some catching up to do, new laws and a better understanding of these cases has led to better investigations. The police aren’t there yet – but they’re on the right track.

The media has a wide reach and most families of the missing have learned their value. They also use social media, set up websites and network to keep their family members’ names and images in front of the public. But when it comes to the press, there’s still a sense of general neglect and disinterest in the coverage awarded minorities.

Years ago, Lisa Murray’s sister vanished from her Arkansas home. The only hint to her fate can be traced to a ring found in a pawnshop. Jeffrey Lynn Smith, an aspiring gymnast who worked for former President Bill Clinton, has not been seen since Dec. 4, 1985. Although Lynn’s disappearance was reported to police, Murray says no one really exhibited any interest in the 16-year-old until recently. She believes it is because her sister is black.

Certainly almost everyone recognizes Caylee Anthony’s name – how many have the same reaction to Jada Justice? Jada, a two-year-old Indiana toddler, vanished in relative obscurity one year after Caylee Anthony. Although there was some media coverage, Jada’s case didn’t draw the dramatic national press that Caylee’s did. And when a woman finally admitted beating the little girl to death and hiding her body, only a few covered the case.

The woman who murdered Jada was sentenced to life in prison with barely a ripple in the national press. But a news search under Caylee Anthony’s name brings up a dozen recent hits.

The truth is that law enforcement, while not yet batting 1000, has progressed further in their handling of missing persons cases than the media. Until every missing person, regardless of race, social standing or age is sought and covered on the same level, there truly is no justice.

Carole Moore is a former police detective and the management columnist at Law Enforcement Technology. She is the author of The Last Place You’d Look: True Stories of Missing Persons and the People Who Search for Them, which will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in early 2011.

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Search in Hot Springs for Remains of Teen Missing since 1985

Reported by: KARK 4 News

Tuesday, December 07 2010

A search is underway in Hot Springs today for the remains of a teenaged girl reported missing way back in 1985. A team coordinated through the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children and the Morgan Nick Foundation will look in several wooded areas with cadaver dogs.

Jeffrey Lynn Smith, 15, disappeared after walking home from school on December 4th, 1985. At the time of Smith’s disappearance, authorities believed that she had run away from home. It was later determined by investigators that Smith had likely been abducted.

In the years since Smith's disappearance, her older sister Lisa Murray has worked closely with the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children in Washington D.C. and the Morgan Nick Foundation in Arkansas, searching for answers into her sister’s disappearance.

Detectives with the Hot Springs Police Department have been working on this “cold case” most recently in the last several years. During that time they've conducted numerous interviews in an attempt to find new information or a “missing link,” which could help solve the case.

On December 7, 2010, detectives working with a search team coordinated through the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children and the Morgan Nick Foundation will be searching several wooded areas in the Hot Springs area with cadaver dogs.

The following letter from Smith's family describes their search for answers about what happened to her:

25 Years of Missing Our Beloved Lynn

I was 19 years old when my world tragically changed.

On December 4, 1985, my sweet baby sister, Jeffrey Lynn Smith, disappeared without a trace.  She had just celebrated her 16th birthday two months earlier.

I remembered we had a birthday party for her and she was very happy about one of the special gifts she received from our mother, a precious gold ring with her birthstone in it…a delicate little Opal. It makes me chuckle to think about it now because she guarded that tiny memento as if it were one of the Crown Jewels of England. She never took that ring off and would have never traded it for anything in the world. That's how much she treasured it.

After Lynn became missing, we discovered that the one shred of evidence was glossed over by the very people we entrusted to protect us. They simply didn't have an interest because she was black. It was very obvious. You had to be there to understand. God, I hate that the color of our skin impacted our ability at that time to get the help we needed. We could have probably found her, living or dead, and we would not be in this place today...25 years later.

All of the despair and long suffering could have possibly been avoided. Sadly though even after all this time you would think things would have changed. When I take a look around though, I still see the disparity. Shouldn't all missing persons be given similar media coverage regardless of their ethnicity? I hate to be the one to keep bringing this topic up but it is a sad reality and I hate that we still have to deal with on a daily basis.

We are appreciative of ANY media coverage that we can get because it’s the one thing that can keep the case alive and possible reach those that have information to solve it. While not on the scale that’s needed, we are still very grateful for the support we have received from various people, organizations and media over the years. I will acknowledge them later because we are very, very appreciative of their help and support.

Yes, it was exactly this same time 25 years ago. While most people were out shopping for gifts for their loved ones or buying Christmas trees for the upcoming holiday, celebrating this joyous season was the last thing on our minds. If we were not on our knees praying, we were running from home to home searching, posting missing person flyers everywhere, trying to get any shred of information that would lead us to her. In between the searches, all we could do was cry, hold each other and pray for a breakthrough.

We were desperate and yet when people were not sending us on wild goose chases, we were being stonewalled by law enforcement officials. Eventually the unthinkable happened, the trail ran cold. It was as if the life of this wonderful young lady with the million dollar smile, was worthless. No one else seemed to care anymore.

Years and years of pain and suffering went by and we all tried our best to live our lives day by day. I had graduated from college and my mother, brother and I relocated to Pennsylvania. I guess I had matured to the point of having an epiphany that no one would ever take an interest in my sister again unless I made it happen. I started a variety of websites and later posted some YouTube Videos in hopes of reaching anyone.

In December of 2005, my mother and I went back to Arkansas. I still had hopes of getting some much delayed help. This time they did help us. It was obvious to me that there was a new generation of officers and administrators at the Hot Springs Police Department who did have compassion and they showed their concern. They reopened her case.

I even tried to get the attention of Former President Bill Clinton. My mother had worked for his mother as her maid and babysitter while she was pregnant with Jeffrey Lynn. She named my sister after his stepfather Jeffrey Dwire because my mother admired that family that much. Mrs. Virginia Dwire also served as my mother’s anesthesiologist during the delivery. I have all the papers to prove this information. I keep her birth certificate with her little footprints, and Mrs. Dwire’s listing, and signature as my mother’s employer and anesthesiologist, in a safe place. I know that it's fate that these events happened. My sister was not meant to just fade into obscurity as a missing person. My mother still fondly shares her interactions with Bill Clinton when he was a Rhode Scholar visiting home from England. She was in his mother’s kitchen preparing dinner, when Bill came in from a jog and asked her if she was making herself a peanut butter and banana sandwich like other pregnant women do. My mother recalls replying politely, “Eww!” My mother and precious, unborn baby sister had no way of realizing that they were interacting with the Future President of the United States. This was 40 years ago.  


In early 2006, my mother and I connected with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. My sister’s case was assigned to a wonderful man, Mr. Gerald Nance. He assisted us in getting our DNA uploaded to the CODIS database, arranged for age progression photos of Lynn to be made and also connected me to the very caring Ms. Abby Potash who then connected me to a great group of people known as Team Hope. I now volunteer and support other individuals who are trying to cope with a missing family member. Don't you just love the word "connected"? Our world was beginning to take a new direction with feelings of hope and not being alone anymore. All these things made a huge difference to us.

After my sister's case was reassigned a few times at the Hot Springs Police Department, I was eventually introduced to a woman who would also positively impact our lives. The very hardworking and compassionate, Detective Lee Ann Clem took my sister's cold case file and busted it wide open....looking at every detail…leaving no stone unturned. She subsequently interviewed countless people in an effort to connect the dots and find missing links. She even tracked down people in other states who were around at that time of my sister’s disappearance in an effort to get more information. She has been die-hard and very dedicated to solving this case over the last several years but most importantly she let my mother and I know that without a shadow of a doubt, my sister's life DID MATTER!  Unfortunately, we found out last week that she will be reassigned from my sister’s case. It’s definitely a hard pill to swallow. We will be eternally grateful to her for her support and are happy that she will remain in our corner even after she's reassigned.

We are also hopeful that others at the Hot Springs Police Department will pick up the ball to keep the case active. Detective Clem also informed us that we are getting very close to have a team finally arrive down there to search a couple of suspect properties for my sister's remains. We have been in this place many times before only to have our little dash of hope dissolve when we learn that the search has been postponed yet again for one reason or another. I am asking for prayers and any help to make sure this search happens this time. Wouldn't it be a shame if her body is found where we suspect after my mother and I are dead and gone? I surely hope and pray that neither of us die without the closure we need. The closure is not only for us but for our children and grandchildren. I don't want to leave a legacy of our descendants wondering what ever happened to that girl with the million dollar smile. I still have hope that we will find her one day.

I want to take the opportunity to thank the following people and organizations for your support:

All of our family and friends who keep us in prayer

Det. Lee Ann Clem and the Hot Springs Police Department

Mr. Gerald Nance and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Ms. Abby Potash, Ms. Carol Ryan and the rest of the Team Hope Family

Ms. Kelly Jolkowski and Project Jason                                  

Ms. Colleen Nick and The Morgan Nick Foundation

Ms. Carole Moore, Free Lance Writer and Former Police Officer

The Carol Sung-Carrington Foundation

KARK Channel 4, Little Rock, Arkansas

The Sentinel Record, Hot Springs, Arkansas      

And any one else who may have helped us without our knowledge by blogging or passing along our information about Lynn.

Note: Lisa shared some childhood photos of Jeffrey Lynn with us. (see below)

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

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Arkansas Police Resume Search for Girl Missing 25 Years

Updated: 1 hour 3 minutes ago 12/8/2010

David Lohr Contributor

AOL News

(Dec. 8 ) -- Authorities in Arkansas have resumed the search for a teenage girl who disappeared 25 years ago this month, police said.

Jeffrey Lynn Smith, 16, was last seen on Dec. 4, 1985, walking home from school with her boyfriend. What happened to her during that walk remains a mystery. Police say she never made it to her Hot Springs home.

Since reopening the search Tuesday, authorities have been focusing on three wooded areas in Hot Springs. Authorities are not saying what prompted the new searches, but they did say the areas they are examining are based on interviews they conducted with a potential suspect. Investigators have not said who that person is.

Authorities in Arkansas have resumed the search for Jeffrey Lynn Smith, who disappeared 25 years ago, police said. She was last seen on Dec. 4, 1985.

"We just want to be real careful what we put out," Hot Springs Police Sgt. Jeff Michau told Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.

At the time of Jeffrey Lynn's disappearance, authorities suspected she had run away from home, but later considered the possibility that she had been abducted.

The only clue that has surfaced in the case is a ring Jeffrey had received as a gift from her mother. The gold ring, which was adorned with an opal birthstone, turned up in a local pawn shop not long after she disappeared.

Jeffrey Lynn's older sister, Lisa Murray, was 19 when her sister vanished. Over the years she has reached out to several missing-person organizations, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Project Jason, for assistance in the case. Both groups have made great strides to raise awareness of Jeffrey Lynn's disappearance.

"Older cases like Jeffrey Lynn's are often overlooked by the media and other avenues of support and awareness," Kelly Jolkowski, president and founder of Project Jason, told AOL News. "The pain for families like Lisa's is no less than any other in this situation. It's never too late for answers and justice."

In addition to reaching out to missing-person organizations, Murray has also attempted, unsuccessfully, to reach out to former President Bill Clinton.

"My mother had worked for his mother as her maid and babysitter while she was pregnant with Jeffrey Lynn," Murray said in a statement to "She named my sister after his stepfather, Jeffrey Dwire, because my mother admired that family that much. Mrs. Virginia Dwire also served as my mother's anesthesiologist during the delivery."

Clinton's mother, Virginia, was married four times. Jeffrey Dwire was her third husband.

Murray said her family has suffered years of pain and suffering and has struggled to live day to day.

"I surely hope and pray that [none] of us die without the closure we need," she said. "The closure is not only for us but for our children and grandchildren. I don't want to leave a legacy of our descendants wondering what ever happened to that girl with the million-dollar smile. I still have hope that we will find her one day."

Jolkowski added, "Even though Jeffrey Lynn will never again hold a place with her family at Christmas dinner, they should be able to lay her to rest and find some peace."

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Ark authorities search for girl missing since 1985

By Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted Dec 08, 2010 @ 11:35 AM


Search teams with cadaver dogs have searched a heavily wooded area of east Hot Springs for signs of a teenage girl who disappeared 25 years ago.

Police would not say what — if anything — was found during Tuesday's search related to the disappearance of 16-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Smith.

Smith vanished Dec. 4, 1985, while walking home from school and police initially considered her a runaway — but now believe she was kidnapped.

Police reopened the case after Smith's sister — Lisa Murray — began investigating the disappearance and learned that someone who knew Smith had pawned her birthstone ring after the disappearance.

Hot Springs Police Sgt. Jeff Michau said police have a suspect in the case but declined to release that person's name.

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Cadaver Dogs Search for Hot Springs Teen Missing Since 1985

KARK 4 News

updated 12/7/2010 10:45:56 PM ET 2010-12-08T03:45:56

New information in a 25 year-old cold case takes Hot Springs police on a search for the remains of a missing girl. KARK 4 News talked the sister of Jeffery Lynn Smith Tuesday.

She says she believes race may have played a role in pushing her sister's case to the back burner. Now, her family is working with law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and to give the search new life.

The last time anyone saw 16 year-old Jeffery Lynn Smith, she was walking home from school with her boyfriend. Tuesday, for the first time in the 25 year investigation, cadaver dogs and search teams scoured three overgrown, wooded areas near her family's old apartment in Hot Springs.

Cpl. McCrary Means said, "Even though it's a cold case we do still work on it and it might be a new detective that's working on it, its important to us and its important to the family. We do want to get some type of closure, whatever the outcome is."

Soon after Smith's disappearance, the family reported Smith's boyfriend pawned one of her most cherished gifts, a ring from her mother.

Still, the trail turned cold and her family moved to Pennsylvania. We talked to her sister Lisa Murray on the phone.

Smith's sister Lisa Murray said, "It's been a long time coming but this search has actually happened and that's a step in the right direction to hopefully getting the answers we've been seeking as to what happened to my sister."

Murray suspects her sister's boyfriend may have killed her. Since Smith's disappearance he's served time for shooting another girlfriend. But police say there have been no arrests, no suspects and no tangible movement in the case, until Tuesday's search.

Murray said, "Thank God with technology, time doesn't have to be a barrier to us finding answers. If she is there, I'm praying she is discovered so we can move forward in getting justice for her."

Cadaver dogs from Louisiana spent about 5 and half hours looking over three wooded areas in Hot Springs. Investigators have yet to release the findings.

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Searching for the missing, bridging the gap

by Carole Moore and Sara Schreiber

Created: April 12, 2012

From the conference’s opening moments to its closing remarks, the theme of 2012’s three-day meeting between various levels of law enforcement, private and public agencies and the families of the missing never lost its focus: Bring them home.

The “them†in this case are the thousands of individuals across this nation who have disappeared. Some are children, others are adults, and all have one thing in common—someone, somewhere knows who they are. And the mission of the Fox Valley Technical College, Criminal Justice Center for Innovation’s National Training Conference is to bring all sides of the missing persons issue to the same table.

Mixing testimony and training

The conference, held every year in Appleton, Wisc., attracts criminal investigators from across the nation and, in some cases, foreign countries like Great Britain and Canada, along with representatives from agencies like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and families of individuals who have disappeared. Keynote speakers in past years have included Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her own bedroom, and Beth Holloway, mother of missing teenager Natalee Holloway, who disappeared while on a post high school graduation trip to Aruba.

This year, attendees heard from keynoter Carrie McGonigle, a Southern California resident whose teenage daughter, Amber Dubois, vanished while walking to school. Amber’s body was later found dumped in a remote wilderness. After being arrested for the murder of a second woman and attacking a third, the girls’ killer was sent to prison for the remainder of his life.

Lisa Murray, also a family member affected by the disappearance of a loved one, spoke to participants about the effects of not knowing what happened to a relative. Lisa’s sister, 16-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Smith, vanished from her Little Rock, Ark., neighborhood on Dec. 4, 1985. At that time police listed her as a runaway. Years after she failed to turn up, Lynn, as her family knew her, has been reclassified as endangered missing.

Murray told attendees that her elderly mother, now in her 80s, has found no solace since her daughter disappeared. The loss of her child haunts her on a daily basis and she agonizes over the fact that, at her age, she doesn’t have much longer to put the issue to rest. Murray says at this point the family is at peace with the idea that Lynn is now deceased; there has been no sign of her in the more than 25 years since she vanished. However, they want to recover her body, if at all possible, and take her to a family burial place to inter her next to Murray’s other sister, who died when she was a toddler.

“We just want closure,†Murray says.


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Lynn is still missing.


Hot Springs Police Department
Agency Phone:  (501) 321-6793
Investigative Case #:  8510374/02L002125

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