Police in Boone, North Carolina, has confirmed on the basis of initial evidences that the body found near the Appalachian State University campus is that of Anna Smith.
Anna Marie Smith, 18. a college freshman at Appalachian State University, was last seen by her roommate in her dorm room nearly two weeks ago.
Officers found the body when they received a call at around 10:30 a.m. They found the body in a wooded area adjacent to Poplar Grove Road, which is less than half a mile from Appalachian State’s campus.
The neighbors told someone called to report a suspicious odor in a heavily wooded area off the Road.
Boone Police found a North Carolina Drivers License and an Appalachian State University Student Identification card belonging to Smith at the scene.
The body will be transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem for an autopsy which will reveal the cause of death.
Reportedly she was claimed to be sighted near her residence hall on Wednesday, Sept. 3. the day when Smith was reported missing. A person is not considered missing by ASU until he or she has been gone for 24 hours.
Smith contacted her family on Labor Day for the last time on Facebook. She sent them a message that simply said, “I love you.”
According to her parents Dan and Laurie Smith, their daughter’s cell phone, laptop and money were left behind when she went missing.
They left a meeting at the ASU campus police station about 2:30 p.m uttering nothing, but a expressions of despair at their face.
Smith reported being assaulted on Aug 27, when she was out with friends but doesn’t remember details of what had exactly happened to her, said the Rev. Dana McKim, a family spokesman.
Anna Smith’s mother drove her back to campus on Labor Day, but the family decided not to report the assault to police, McKim said.
Though not specific but authorities did establish that something had left Smith in an “anguished” state.
“It’s kind of ridiculous they found her so close to campus,” said Sam Bridges, a junior criminal justice major from Greensboro. “It’s been worrisome.”
On Sept. 2, at around 10:26 p.m. Mountaineer SafeRide, a van service got a call from a woman. The service shuttles students around after dark. The lady was said to have arranged a cross-campus ride from the Holmes Convocation Center to Mountaineer Hall near the ASU football stadium.
“We showed her picture to the van driver, and he said it looked like her, but he was not 100 percent sure,” Campus Police Chief Gunther Doerr said Friday.
The whole scenario doesn’t points towards a case of abduction as Smith left on foot.
Officers canvassed campus all that night. The search went extensive involving bloodhounds on Wednesday, with volunteers from Kernersville walking along the Mountains to Sea Trail, a 900-mile route of footpaths beginning in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in search of the missing girl.
Boone Police spokesman Shane Robbins said, “I can’t tell you that,” when enquired whether the place where the body was found was inspected earlier or not.
The campus with population of 18,000 students often come across students reported missing, but they usually show up in a day or two, he said. “We have had several missing students reports over the years, but none have gone this long without being located.”
Sheri Everts, University chancellor, released a statement saying she was “deeply saddened” to share that the search for Smith “ended tragically.
A candlelight vigil is planned for Smith on Sunday in Archdale at Creekside Park which is open for everyone and begins at 7:30.