ST. GEORGE, Utah, March 31, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — On April Fools’ Day of last year, the tight-knit Smith family moved to St. George from Canada.
One year later, the first day of each month only reminds the family of the day 17-year-old son Macin went missing seven months ago.
Macin was the last of six children still living at home when his parents, Tracey Bratt-Smith and Darrin Smith, moved to Utah.
“It felt like a clean slate on which to build a foundation,” said Bratt-Smith. She says they moved with “much hope of a changed future.”
“To use that date as the anniversary of a child gone missing is discouraging and tragic,” she added.
Macin walked away from his home on Sept. 1 when his parents thought he was on his way to school. Macin left behind his cell phone, wallet and laptop.
He did leave a note, which his parents discovered a week later. They have not released the contents, preferring to say the note contained an “intent,” which led them to believe he may have intended to harm himself.
Early indications were that Macin might have headed to Las Vegas, but that was never confirmed, and other possible sightings have not proved credible.
His family has worked tirelessly with professional search organization Red Rock Search and Rescue and police to bring Macin home. On the five-month anniversary of his disappearance, Macin’s parents announced a new flyer would be distributed that offered a $10,000 reward for his safe return.
This Saturday, a team from RRSAR St. George and Las Vegas will deploy to look for Macin. The organization’s Facebook page said: “We know that there are people who would like to help us and we appreciate this, but we are restricting this mission to our trained members only.”
Speaking exclusively to Gephardt Daily, Bratt-Smith said family members are having difficulty facing the fact that not only will April 1 mark seven months since Macin disappeared, but on April 7, he turns 18.
“It’s been a taxing week with Easter now behind us and the approaching 18th birthday of Macin,” she said. “If I was to do inventory on the situation, I would say that we are in the same place we were — as far as information leading to what happened to Macin — as we were two weeks after his disappearance.
“The increased reward has produced no results,” Bratt-Smith said. “The searches have ruled out where Macin is not, but no direction on which to go. The few leads that have been given to the St. George Police Department have produced dead ends.
“What has been going right is the increased awareness of Macin’s story. With now 15,500 plus followers on his Facebook page, the social media aspect of awareness is good.”
Bratt-Smith and other family members have posted Facebook updates in tribute to Macin almost every day to the 15,505 members of the Help Find Macin Smith page on Facebook.
“I think about him so much of the time,” she said. “Macin is still very much a dominating presence in my thoughts. His birthday? We will try our best to celebrate his life and all the good that those years produced. Trying to do something different by going out in a public forum to meet with people — the opposite of what I ‘feel’ like doing.”
Macin is 6-feet-4-inches and 200 pounds. He has light blue eyes, and he had short blond hair when he went missing.
Anyone with information on Macin is asked to contact the SGPD at 435-627-4300, or David Cummings at RRSAR on 702-787-4068.
Click below to watch Bill Gephardt’s exclusive interview with Tracey, recorded in February.