Dec. 6, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Dateline NBC’s Facebook series “Missing in America” is marking its three-year anniversary by featuring 64 cases that remain outstanding — including those of Utahns Macin Smith and Elizabeth Salgado.
The plan was outlined Monday in an article by NBC News.
“Missing in America’ began on December 5, 2013, following a question the night before to our Facebook community, ‘Do you know anyone who has simply vanished?'” the article reads. “The response was overwhelming. Since that first post, every Monday, we have featured the story of a different missing person brought to our attention from a member of our online communities.
“On this third anniversary of the series, more than a third of those we have featured are still missing. Several have had someone charged in connection with their cases. In others, a person has been convicted of their murder. But they still have not been brought home.
“Please take a moment to read, and share, their stories. Someone, somewhere, saw something that may help authorities. Could it be you or one of your friends?”
The article also mentions Macin Smith:
“Utah teen Macin Smith was last seen on September 1, 2015, leaving his St. George, Utah home for what his parents believed was another day of high school. The (then) 17-year-old never showed up to Desert High School. All of his personal belongings, including his cell phone and wallet, were found at home. In the year since, family members have desperately searched for the teen, who police have classified as a juvenile runaway. Hundreds continue to post almost daily on the ‘Help Find Macin Smith’ Facebook page. There have been multiple reports of possible sightings of Macin, but none have proved credible. If you have any information regarding Macin’s case, please contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.”
The article also addresses the case of Elizabeth Salgado:
“It was shortly after Elizabeth Salgado moved to Provo, Utah, to learn English, after serving a mission in Mexico for the Mormon Church, that she vanished. The 26-year-old was last seen on April 16, 2015, leaving class at the Nomen Global Language Center. Salgado’s family lives in Mexico, but her uncles have made public pleas in the United States for her return. Elizabeth Smart, a former abductee, and now missing person’s activist, has also advocated publicly on behalf of the family. There remains a $50,000 reward compiled from various donations offered for Elizabeth’s safe return. If you have any information that can help bring Elizabeth home, please contact the Provo Police Department at 801-852-6210.”
Tracey Bratt-Smith, mother of Macin Smith, shared the article on Facebook.
“See that little red balloon on the southern tip of Utah? That represents Macin Smith,” Bratt-Smith wrote.
“I looked through every single one of these missing cases and it makes my heart ache all over again. So many people missing without a trace…how can this be? Thank you for continuing to share Macin’s story and ‘Missing Persons of America’ for posting.”
Speaking exclusively to Gephardt Daily, Bratt-Smith added: “I keep having to remind myself that this is my reality and yet every morning for just a moment, I wake up thinking that everything is normal. I am still not accepting my ‘new normal.’ I don’t accept that Macin is missing or may be gone indefinitely and it’s just where I am in this recovery. We, as a family, still talk as if he is here. Sometimes we will utter out loud thinking somehow Mace can hear us, we will say ‘Okay Macin, joke’s over, you can come home now.’ And yet we still continue to wait.”
Macin’s family has worked with professional search organization Red Rock Search and Rescue and police to bring him home.
There is a $10,000 reward in place, offered for information leading to his safe return. In January, Macin’s story will be featured on the Investigation Discovery Channel documentary series “Disappeared.”
Bratt-Smith and other family members have posted Facebook updates almost every day to the “Help Find Macin Smith” page — whose 15,780 members are known collectively as Macin’s Army — in the hope of bringing him home.
Macin 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 2015, and there have been search efforts for him there, too.
The Salgado case has barely been featured in the media since the one-year anniversary of her disappearance in April.
To mark that anniversary, Elizabeth Smart, taken from her bed in June of 2002 and recovered by police nine months later, used her voice to speak for Salgado, at a news conference.
Salgado, then 25, had arrived in Provo just 20 days earlier to study English.
Asked what she would say if she could talk directly to people being held captive — which family members believe may be the case with both Salgado and Macin Smith — Smart offered advice from her own perspective.
“My direct message to Elizabeth, to Macin, to missing children, people, where ever they may be, No. 1, is don’t lose hope,” Smart said. “No. 2 is don’t lose faith in your family, they love you, they want you back, they’re not giving up on you…. Don’t lose that faith. Don’t lose that hope. Survive.”
Family members, who believe Salgado was taken against her will, have made videos with the help of “El Mero,” a bilingual news source, begging possible captors to let her go.
Salgado is described as about 5 feet 4 inches tall, 120 to 130 pounds, and has long black hair and brown eyes.
She was last seen wearing a denim jacket, blue jeans, and black or brown knee-high boots. She reportedly was carrying a denim handbag with red straps.