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Published: Tuesday, 6/13/2006

Woman still missing after 2 months

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Police search an area off Telegraph Road for evidence in the disappearance of Susan Smith, 41, of Washington Township. Police search an area off Telegraph Road for evidence in the disappearance of Susan Smith, 41, of Washington Township.
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Kaitlyn Smith talked to her mother, Susan, every day. So when she hadn't spoken with her for several days after their last phone conversation March 28, she became concerned and contacted police.

More than two months later, the 16-year-old still hasn't heard from her mother. No one has. And there's been no activity on Ms. Smith's bank account.

"She was trying so hard to get on her feet - she wasn't exactly on them," Miss Smith said. "But she was trying. I know she wouldn't take off."

Police don't think she did, either.

They're investigating the missing Washington Township woman's case as a homicide, even though they haven't found a body, Toledo police Sgt. Steve Forrester said.

Township police presented the case at a Lucas County Cold Case Squad meeting, and Toledo police agreed to help in the investigation.

Toledo police - including the department's 30-member cadet class - yesterday searched a business in the 5500 block of Telegraph Road and woods around it.

Smith Smith
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Sergeant Forrester declined comment on what police found, citing the ongoing investigation. "It's the first of many searches we anticipate in this case," he said.

Ms. Smith, 41, worked in Toledo, and the SUV she was last seen driving was found in the city.

Sergeant Forrester said Ms. Smith was last seen March 28 bowling at Glass Bowl Lanes. She then went to her Holiday Drive home. The last person police know she spoke to was her daughter, the sergeant said.

Miss Smith said her mother was in a good mood when she spoke to her that evening. Ms. Smith told her she was going to meet a friend at a gas station and that he was going to fill up her vehicle.

Ms. Smith failed to report to work the next day at the Toledo Yacht Club. She left her purse and $10 on a dresser at home, her daughter said.

"If you were going to take off, wouldn't you take stuff with you?" Miss Smith asked.

She said two days later, Ms. Smith's son, 19, found the phone off the hook at the Holiday home, but no one thought that was unusual because Ms. Smith often did that.

The vehicle Ms. Smith was last seen driving - her boyfriend's blue Dodge Durango - was found April 10 behind an apartment complex at 1561 Brooke Park Drive. Her boyfriend was in Florida when she disappeared, police said.

Although police said Ms. Smith had a minor history of drugs, her daughter said she used them once in a while and was trying to seek help.

She said Ms. Smith "was a great mom" who was a very strict and strong woman who loved her children.

Miss Smith said she isn't sure if her mother is dead or alive.

"I feel hurt that she's gone," she said.

Ms. Smith is described as white, with a light complexion, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighing 125 pounds, with green eyes and strawberry blond hair, which her daughter said she dyed a brighter red color before she disappeared.

Sergeant Forrester said "very significant" Crime Stopper reward money is available for information in the case.

Contact Christina Hall at

chall@theblade.com

or 419-724-6007.



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