ST. GEORGE, Utah, Nov. 28, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The holiday season is a time for family; a time when we celebrate those who are with us and remember those who are not.
But for one St. George mom, every holiday benchmark brings a different kind of pain: the pain of the unknown.
Mother-of-six Tracey Bratt-Smith and her husband, Darrin, have just faced their second Thanksgiving, and are coming up on their second Christmas, having absolutely no idea where youngest son Macin is.
Macin, the last of the Smith’s six children living at home, walked away from home in the early morning hours of Sept. 1, 2015, when his parents thought the 17-year-old was on his way to school. On Thursday, Macin will have been missing 15 months.
Sunday night, Bratt-Smith wrote a Facebook post. It said, in part:
I know there will come a day when I won’t feel as hopeless as I do today and I will be one of the participators in life rather than an observer. I have so much. I know. I have unlimited opportunities for 2017. I have two new lives joining our family this next year. I have the best career that I could possibly think of. I have so many kind and loving people in my life. Yet, my heart’s been in a blender since September 1 2015. I have never loved so much. I have never hurt so much.
Macin left behind his cellphone, wallet, laptop, even his school binder, and vanished without a trace.
Since that day, Macin’s family and friends have had no solid evidence that Macin is still alive. The family has worked with professional search organization Red Rock Search and Rescue and police to bring him home. A search earlier this month of a particular rugged area in St. George yielded the same results as all the other searches: nothing.
There is even 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 15,757 members are known collectively as Macin’s Army — in the hope of bringing him home.
The rest of Bratt-Smith’s post from Sunday reads:
27 November 2016
Dear Macin’s Army:
So many things I “could” be doing right now. My house is mostly empty after a weekend spent with half the kids home. They fill the house with positive energy and it’s a lovely distraction until they leave and then I end up crashing again.
Do you ever feel like you are solely an observer in this experience called life? Everyone else is living and being present in the moment and meanwhile the rest of us are just watching; hoping at some point, the opportunity to jump right back in and participate will present itself eventually.
Thanksgiving 2016. We ate. But when we did I thought of Macin and how much he loved what was on the menu. Darrin made a pumpkin pie which normally Macin would of eaten the whole thing, but it was the last pie left. We played games. I thought of how much Macin loved to win. How smart he is and how funny (sometimes shockingly) he is off the cuff. I thought of taking the kids to shoot hoops at the park but I couldn’t stand the thought of the last time we were all together, that’s something we did. My new normal. Thinking of what was. What is currently missing in our lives. What is unusual this year. Will I ever feel whole again?
Every night I continue to keep my ears on heightened alert, thinking that I might hear the garage door open at any moment and my handsome boy walking up like nothing has happened. That’s the way he would return. I’m sure he’d be thinking “What’s the big deal? I just needed a time out.” I still have some sense of faith that he will return although there is no definitive proof of it. My fantasy belief especially increases around the holidays. Surely now is the time right?
P.S. Pictures of a past Thanksgiving (before and after meal) with Macin Smith (below).
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.
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.
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.