Sage Smith, a transgender woman from Charlottesville, Virginia, was last seen by her family on November 20, 2012, when she was 19. She was reported missing two days later, after she failed to return from a date with Erik McFadden. McFadden quickly left town and hasn’t been seen since. Local police have been blamed for bungling the case since day one.
This Sage Smith wiki takes an in-depth look into her life, the strange events in the days before she went missing, and what both police and civilian searches have uncovered so far.
|About Sage Smith|
|Known As||Dashad Smith|
|Birth||December 13, 1992 Charlottesville, Virginia|
|Parents||Latasha Grooms, Dean Smith|
Who Is Sage Smith?
Sage Smith was born Dashad Laquinn Smith on December 13, 1992, to Latasha Grooms and Dean Smith.
Raised as a boy, she grew up in a poor part of Charlottesville, Virginia. She was brought up by her grandmother, Lolita “Miss Cookie” Smith, from the age of three. The pair lived in an apartment in an area then called Garrett Square, an affordable housing complex.
Despite the rough-and-tumble neighborhood, Miss Cookie provided Sage Smith with love and security. In addition to being a dedicated parent, Miss Cookie was also a prominent figure in the community, serving on the tenants’ association board and resident patrol.
When Smith was 12, a wrought iron fence was put up around the complex, making residents feel as though they were living in a prison. It was then that Miss Cookie and Smith moved to a house in Charlottesville’s Fifeville neighborhood.
Here, they met Shakira Washington. She lived two doors down and would, like Smith, come to call Miss Cookie “grandma.”
“[Sage and I] got into an altercation,” Washington said. “Our families came out of the house and stopped it. We were together every day after that.”
At that point, Washington identified as transgender and was already asking her middle school teachers to use female pronouns.
One day, Smith went to speak to Miss Cookie, telling her there was something she needed to confess. Smith then asked Miss Cookie not to be mad.
“And she said, ‘Grandma, I’m gay.’ And I said, ‘You aren’t telling me anything that I don’t already know,’” Miss Cookie recalled.
The two of them sat there hugging for a long time.
In this loving environment, Smith was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She completed Charlottesville High School in 2011.
She then took cosmetology classes, braided hair out of her home, and swept hair at a local salon.
Sage Smith Strikes out on Her Own
Unfortunately, Miss Cookie returned Smith to her mother, who was eventually deemed to be an unfit parent. From there, Smith was shunted into foster care.
On the plus side, foster care paid for Smith to rent her own duplex apartment on Harris Street in Charlottesville.
She then asked Washington and Aubrey Carson, another childhood friend, to move in with her.
The interior walls of the two-bedroom duplex were painted “Barbie” pink. Not surprisingly, the place was dubbed “the dollhouse mansion.”
It was here that the three teen friends partied it up. Sometimes they hosted parties and other times they went to parties that catered to men on the down low.
The three of them also spent a considerable amount of time with three women named Alexis, Tiffany, and Chelsea. They hung out and had fun, dancing at Charlottesville’s only queer nightclub or hitting the strip bars near the University of Virginia.
Sage’s childhood friend Washington had started taking estrogen injections and Smith said she wanted to start, too.
To that end, Smith changed her gender on Facebook to “female.” “I am a girl now #Respect it,” she wrote to a Facebook friend on November 9, 2012.
On November 18, she wrote to a family member, “Look I am transitioning I am your niece.”
At other times, Smith and her friends were out to make some money. The men they entertained came from all walks of life; some were single, some were not. Whenever Smith or Washington hooked up with a man, either for money or for fun, they texted each other to make sure the other woman was okay.
Smith’s mother, Latasha Grooms, said she was happy to see her daughter finding her way and making close friends after years of struggling.
“He was still finding himself and was in the process of coming out,” she said, adding that Smith hadn’t asked the family to refer to her with female pronouns or as “Sage.” This appears to contradict earlier stories of Smith coming out to Miss Cookie and later openly identifying as a woman online.
That said, it doesn’t appear as though Smith and Grooms were close.
Smith’s Father Comes to Accept Her Unconditionally
Sage Smith’s father, Dean Smith, had spent several years in jail on a drug charge when she was young. After being released, he wanted to play a much bigger role in her life. Unfortunately, he struggled to accept Smith as first a gay boy and then a trans woman.
His attitude toward Smith changed dramatically, though.
One day he watched a Lifetime movie called Prayers for Bobby. The movie depicts a mother coming to terms with the suicide of her gay son. It is actually based on the true story of Bobby Griffith, a young man who killed himself as a result of his mother’s homophobia.
“Dude was like that and his family dropped him. I just felt I couldn’t do that to my child,” Dean said. “When she walked by on the street and I was at the barbershop with my boys, I would say, ‘Come here, I want you to meet my child.’”
That doesn’t mean Smith had it easy. Smith and her friend Carson were harassed, called slurs, and once chased by a crowd.
Her Facebook page also contained messages from March 2012, where a friend told her to “watch her back,” that she was a target because she had contacted the wife of a man she had hooked up with.
Sage was known to place Casual Encounters ads on Craigslist, something Washington did not approve of. This was how Smith might have been drawn into the orbit of Erik McFadden.
Did Smith Get into a Fight with the Wrong Person?
On November 19, 2012, the day before Sage Smith went missing, everyone met at the dollhouse mansion to celebrate Washington’s 19th birthday. It was during this night of festivities that a girl barged into their apartment, wanting to fight with one of Smith’s friends.
The fight, over a man, went outside. It was there that Smith and her friends saw cars parked all the