ST. GEORGE, Utah, Sept. 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The family of Macin Smith is paying tribute to him on a day they thought would never come; the sixth anniversary of him going missing from his home in St. George on Sept. 1, 2015.
The then 17-year-old reportedly walked away from his residence early in the morning when his parents thought he was on his way to school. He then effectively disappeared without a trace. He would now be 23.
Gephardt Daily has spoken to Macin’s mom, Tracey Bratt, regularly during the past six years; this year, we spoke with Macin’s uncle, Keith Bratt, as well as Jolyne Bowden Gailey, a long-term friend and supporter of the family and administrator of the Help Find Macin Smith page on Facebook. Tracey Bratt and her former husband and Macin’s dad, Darrin Smith, divorced in summer 2018.
Macin’s uncle Keith posted on Facebook Wednesday morning: “Today is year number six since Macin went missing. Our family thinks of Macin always, but today our hearts are full of memories of Macin. Macin I love you, and miss you.”
He also told Gephardt Daily exclusively: “We had a nice family Zoom meeting with my mom, my brother and my three sisters. Our family has always been close, and supportive. I think the most surprising thing, is how many people have supported, and helped in finding answers, and given their love, prayers, and support throughout this difficult time.”
Bowden Gailey told us Macin’s mom Tracey is simply emotionally drained at this point.
“As with most people, his family each deals with this in their own way,” she said. “I cannot speak for anyone but Tracey when I say: she’s tired, she’s hurting; she just wants her boy home.”
She said that progress on the case has stalled, with little forward progress to report.
“Unfortunately there is nothing new,” Bowden Gailey said. “We have continued to do independent searches through the last two years. We weren’t able to have organized searches because of COVID but we have not given up on an independent level.
“We still continue to receive potential sightings or people who seem to remember seeing him on the streets at one point but we work hard to follow through and confirm or rule them out. These ‘leads’ take our attention all over the nation so it’s time consuming to contact local authorities in different states and hope that they respond but so far we’ve had very good luck with communicating and actually ruling things out along the way.”
We also asked Bowden Gailey, who is the mother of a son almost the same age and with similar circumstances to Macin, if she believes there is a chance Macin will be found, or if too much time has gone by.
“Unfortunately, it has been six long and very painful years,” she said. “There are very few of us left that actively participate in the day-to-day stuff. We are doing our best and we will not stop. Having said that, a good majority of people feel that he is gone from this earth and that makes him a needle in a haystack. If you don’t know where to search, then sometimes you’re just burning both ends. There is no such thing as ‘too much time has gone by’ when you are looking for a loved one. It just becomes more heartbreaking and emotionally exhausting.”
In the months after he went missing, there were many reported sightings of Macin. The most promising was in late January 2017, when there were multiple possible sightings in the northern California city of Modesto; even a possible multi-person sighting reported by volunteers at a homeless count. Earlier that month, a handful of other possible sightings were reported in the Sacramento area, which police also investigated. However, as time has gone on, those reports have dwindled to nothing.
The Macin Smith Facebook page, however, still has 53,700 followers, from around the world, and that page has been used as a force for a greater good by being opened up to reports on any missing person. Bowden Gailey said it’s not too late to get involved in the search for others like Macin who are missing, and may be facing mental health challenges.
“It’s very hard to ask for public support when we have no clue where to look,” Bowden Gailey said. “We have searched almost everywhere that we can imagine that he could be. The one thing that we have done on the Help Find Macin Smith page is we have opened it up to ALL missing people; we never want anyone to feel this way. If you truly want to help please join our page and join us in our effort to help find missing from your own area.”
She added: “When someone loses a loved one they are frightened and paralyzed, to have someone join their effort means more to them and anything else you could do. My next suggestion would be to please help us raise awareness for mental health, regardless of if Macin is alive or deceased, his mental health was not okay. People relate to that part of him more than anything, if we can create awareness for mental health maybe we can help each other not get to the point where they feel like they have to do what Macin did.”
Macin, the youngest of six children and the only one who was still living at home, left behind his cellphone, wallet, laptop and his school binder.
He 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.
Macin has light-blue eyes, and he had short blond hair when he went missing. He is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds before his disappearance.
His story was featured on an Investigation Discovery Disappeared episode entitled “The Silent Son.”
There is a $10,000 reward in place for information leading to Macin’s location.
Anyone with information about Macin is asked to call the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.