In 1997, Judy Smith made the decision to travel with her husband Jeff to a business conference in Philadelphia. Judy discovered she had left her driver’s license at home just before their flight was scheduled to leave, forcing her to take a later flight. Jeff reluctantly concurred, and later that evening, the two met in Philadelphia. Judy visited a local attraction the following day while Jeff attended a conference. At 5:00 PM, Judy was supposed to meet Jeff at their hotel, according to Jeff.
“So when I returned to the hotel room at 5:30, she wasn’t there. And by 6:30, I was already beginning to worry. “.
The police and hospitals in the area were contacted by Jeff. He searched Philadelphia by taxi when nothing was found. Jeff claimed to have followed the route taken by the tour bus Judy had intended to take that day:.
“Although I was worried that she had been hurt, I had faith that I could locate her. I couldn’t believe it. I simply couldn’t imagine how she could have been hurt. “.
The months passed, but Judy Smith was nowhere to be found. Both her husband and the Philadelphia police were baffled. No proof of her murder or kidnapping was discovered. Amy Hartford, Judy’s daughter, believed her mother had either an accident or, worse yet, amnesia.
“It was awful to think that my mother didn’t know who she was and was lost in the city. “.
Judy left for her day of sightseeing on the day she disappeared at 9:00 AM. She carried her belongings in her trademark red backpack, as she always did. She had informed Jeff that she intended to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Within the next eight hours, whatever had caused Judy to disappear took place. Jeff was forced to head back to Boston after the Philadelphia police found no sign of Judy. He distributed 9,000 flyers about Judy along the Eastern seaboard via mail and fax from his office. Three private detectives were also employed by him. But according to Jeff, they found no important hints.
Five months later, a father and son were hiking close to Asheville, North Carolina, when they came across something odd. According to Lieutenant Sam Constance of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department, they discovered a partially buried skeleton that animals had scattered over a 100 yard area:
“Our victim was a white woman who was probably in her mid- to late-fifties. There were cuts and puncture wounds on the bra, according to the pathologist’s report, which could be consistent with stab wounds. “.
Police asked for Judy’s dental records after discovering Jeff’s “missing” flyers nearby. They were Judy Smith’s remains, according to forensic analysis. Amy, Judy’s daughter, was speechless.
“I was surprised. You probably assume your parent will pass away eventually, just not before they should. We frequently discussed when I would have children and how much I was looking forward to that time. I guess I just never considered the possibility that she wouldn’t be present. “.
Nobody could figure out how Judy got to be so far from Philadelphia. At the scene of the crime, police discovered Judy’s diamond wedding ring as well as $167 in cash. It was determined that robbery was not the intention. However, the police had another tip. Several days after Judy went missing, four Asheville witnesses asserted to have seen her. Joanne Stucker, a retail clerk, was one of them.
She struck me as being very alert. She had a great disposition. I didn’t notice anything about her that would suggest she wasn’t in any way correct. She revealed that her husband was a lawyer and that they were originally from Boston. They also mentioned that he was attending a convention while they were in Pennsylvania. She also made the decision to descend here. “.
If Judy did, however, choose to leave Philadelphia, then why? Carolyn Dickey, Judy’s friend, had the following theory regarding Judy’s disappearance:
“Jeff and Judy’s marriage was in very peril when this incident occurred. I think she really did want some time apart from Jeff because of something that had actually occurred. ”.
Investigators discovered two hints that could help explain what might have happened to Judy, according to Lieutenant Constance.
At the crime scene, we discovered a blue and black backpack. I think our suspect might be the rightful owner of it. There were some sunglasses present. These glasses, in our opinion, do not belong to Judith and may instead be the property of our suspect. “.
Investigators in North Carolina still don’t know what happened that led to Judy Smith’s murder in a remote part of the state; who stabbed her and dumped her body in a shallow grave; was it a stranger or someone she may have planned to meet in Asheville.