More than a half-dozen Charlottesville investigators spent much of Monday sifting through trash at a Henrico County landfill seeking clues in their search for Dashad “Sage” Smith, 20, a city man who went missing a month ago.
The effort came up empty, police said.
Police said they’d received no specific tip leading them to Henrico and they searched the landfill only because trash from Charlottesville is brought there.
“It’s kind of wide open, it could be anything [related to the case],” said Charlottesville police Capt. Gary Pleasants. “There is no specific thing that could be secretive that we could be searching for.”
Smith’s mother, Latasha Grooms of Louisa County, said she knew police were at the landfill, but did not know specifically what they were looking for.
“It was kind of like a routine, go behind and make sure they weren’t missing anything,” Grooms said.
Charlottesville police Lt. Ronnie Roberts said it is not unusual for so many investigators to be sent searching for clues that might not turn up.
“It takes a few resources to do something like that,” he said. “You couldn’t expect it would take just two people to do that.”
Charlottesville police Chief Timothy Longo will hold a news conference this morning at Charlottesville City Hall to provide an update on the search for Smith and offer a reward for information.
Charlottesville police said Smith, who often dressed like a woman, was last seen Nov. 20 near the Amtrak station on West Main Street. Smith was expected to meet Erik Tyquan McFadden, of Charlottesville, at the station, but McFadden told police Smith never showed, authorities said.
Police said McFadden left the area after initially speaking with investigators and they are seeking him for further questioning but do not consider him a suspect.
Grooms said she last spoke with her son by phone on the afternoon of Nov. 20, and she planned to pick him up in Charlottesville on Thanksgiving morning to take him to her home in Louisa to surprise his two sisters.
“He couldn’t wait till Thanksgiving to come down here,” she said.
She said she is having trouble holding out hope that Smith will be found safe.
“I have my up and down days,” she said. “Sometimes you feel that hope fading, and sometimes it comes back around.”
Reed Williams of the Richmond Times-Dispatch contributed to this report.