ST. GEORGE, Utah, Oct. 12, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Volunteers are still needed for a search this weekend for missing St. George teenager Macin Smith.
Macin, the youngest of Tracey Bratt-Smith and her husband Darrin’s six children, walked away from home at age 17 in the early morning hours of Sept. 1, 2015, when his parents thought he was on his way to school. He left behind his cell phone, wallet, laptop and his school binder.
Twenty-five months later, despite hundreds of leads and potential sightings, the Smith family has no more concrete information than they had back at the beginning.
Now, friends of the family, who call themselves Macin’s Army, are organizing a search in St. George from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and they hope 200 people will join them.
Speaking exclusively to Gephardt Daily, Bratt-Smith says the prospect of the search is both heartening and emotionally difficult for her.
“I’m kind of a hot mess this time around, can’t really pinpoint why,” she said. “Possibly fear. Fear of finding something? Fear of not finding something? I’m all over the place with my emotions. We just need some answers, some closure but aren’t sure how to go about receiving that. This search will be unique as it’s theoretically what we think could of happened. Always wanted to thoroughly check the southern parts of the Virgin River and have only been able to rule out a small area in town. The area is so dense.”
Saturday’s search efforts will be focused on two locations that have not been searched before: the Man O War bridge area at 650 Man O War Road in Bloomington, and a wash located in Little Valley, near Little Valley Elementary School, at 2330 Horseman Park Drive.
The two locations were hand-picked by Macin’s mother, Bratt-Smith. Several rain showers caused flooding in St. George at the time Macin went missing, hence the focus on searching along the Virgin River in Bloomington. Search organizers said they need people walking down both sides of the river looking through debris.
Volunteers will also search along the wash in Little Valley because it’s close to Macin’s home.
The Facebook page set up to promote the search says: “We have experts working on this and we have several locations and it’s going to be very organized so we need a headcount and we would love to see at least 200 people. LET’S DO THIS!!
“Obviously it is not our hopes that we find Macin out here, but with two years and not a single verified contact or citing we need to exhaust ALL of our resources. IF out there we need to find him and bring him home.
“Thank you in advance To ALL of YOU willing to sacrifice a Saturday in October to spend it in the desert with us. We love you.”
The post goes on to say that horsemen and women have been out this week charting courses and checking safety.
Bratt-Smith and other family members have posted Facebook updates as often as they feel able to on the Help Find Macin Smith Facebook page — with a membership that has swelled to 51,510 — in the hope of bringing him home. There is a $10,000 reward in place for information leading to Macin’s location.
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.
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.
On Saturday, volunteers at both locations will be provided with water and refreshments. Volunteers who are experienced in hiking are asked to assist at the Man O War location. The Little Valley wash will require mostly non-strenuous walking.
To sign up as a volunteer, contact Kaitlyn Martin at [email protected] or reach out to an administrator on the “Help Find Macin Smith” Facebook page. Volunteers can also show up at the search locations on Saturday.
Anyone with information about Macin is asked to call the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300. The search Saturday is not affiliated with the Police Department or with Red Rock Search and Rescue, out of Las Vegas, which has assisted with past searches.