Exclusive: Mom of missing St. George teen says hope continues as last search of year bears no results

Tracy Brett-Smith and her husband Darrin during a previous search effort to find their missing son, 18-year-old Macin Smith. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Nov. 20, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Though the final search of the year for missing teen Macin Smith did not bear results, his mother says that simply ruling out an area of the challenging terrain surrounding St. George helps her keep hope alive.

Macin, the last of the Tracey Bratt-Smith and Darrin Smith’s six children living at home, walked way from home in the early morning hours of Sept. 1, 2015, when his parents thought the then 17-year-old was on his way to school.

The family has worked with professional search organization Red Rock Search and Rescue and police to bring him home; mounting both large-scale searches and others where individuals go out alone. There is even a $10,000 reward in place, offered for information leading to his safe return. But since that fall day, Macin’s family and friends have had not one shred of solid evidence that Macin is still alive.

On Saturday, 30 people met at the Historic Seegmiller Barn, 2450 S. 3000 East, to search the one area that Bratt-Smith says has been a “menace” for the family to scour on its own.

Speaking exclusively to Gephardt Daily Sunday, Bratt-Smith said she was touched by the turnout, particularly because she did not know most of the people who came to search.

“The search eased my mind tremendously,” she said. “I would often think of Macin stuck in the brush in that area as I would drive by every day on my way to work. There were so many places to hide. Now I can rule that out. The volunteers were so good and kind. A lot of connecting. We feel so much support from the community. It’s what keeps us going. Local SAR joined us.”

Bratt-Smith added that she intends to focus on the rest of her family for the remainder of 2016, as they face the second Thanksgiving and second Christmas without their youngest.

“For the rest of the year we will focus on the kids and ensuring they have a pleasant holiday,” she said. “Hope continues every time we don’t find something on these searches; it allows for perhaps an alternative outcome scenario. We all just want him home so terribly.”

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Macin’s mom and other family members have posted Facebook updates almost every day to the Help Find Macin Smith page — whose 15,755 members are known collectively as Macin’s Army — in the hope of bringing him home.

Bratt-Smith posted on Saturday:

Words aren’t adequate to express the feelings in my heart for these wonderful people who showed up today. I feel relieved. The area that’s truly plagued us for months has been ruled out. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! We did a rough area but with many hands it did not seem so overwhelming. You lighten my load. You ease my troubled heart. I am blessed by my association with each one of you.

Much love,
The Momma

Macin left behind his cellphone, wallet, laptop, even his school binder, and vanished without a trace.

He is 6-feet-4-inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has light blue eyes, and he had short blond hair when he went missing. The Smith family moved to Utah from Canada in spring last year, and there have been search efforts for him there, too.

Macin did leave a note, which his parents discovered a week later folded inside his wallet. They have not released the contents, preferring to say the note contained an “intent,” which led them to believe he may have planned to harm himself.

In January, Macin’s story will be featured on the Investigation Discovery Channel documentary series “Disappeared.”

Anyone with information about Macin is asked to call the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300, or David Cummings at RRSAR at 702-787-4068.

To watch Bill Gephardt’s August interview with Tracey Bratt-Smith and Darrin Smith, click below.

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