$10,000 donated in search of missing transgender man

Published: Dec. 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 at 10:49 PM EST
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - $10,000 is the amount of money an anonymous donor just gave to help find a missing Charlottesville man.

Nobody has seen Dashad Smith for about a month now as investigators continue to focus on an landfill in Henrico County.

Dump trucks and hills of trash surround investigators from Charlottesville digging through a landfill in Henrico's east end. They hope to find something that will help them find Smith. He went missing about a month ago.

The focus is now on the Old Dominion Landfill off of Charles City Road because police say this is where trash from Charlottesville goes.

Smith's 20th birthday was last week, but instead of celebrating his family and friends were praying for his safety. They released balloons in his honor.

The hope is by continuing to put his story out there, it will bring police closer to a breakthrough in the case. His mother, Latasha Grooms, tells our sister station, NBC29, that she is trying to stay positive.

"It hurts you know every day, him not being here," she said.

Meanwhile police continue to look for Erik McFadden, a person of interest in the case.  According to police, he was the last person to see Smith.

Police say they are also looking into Dashad's phone and credit card records.

"Whether that activity be financial transactions, telephone calls, text messaging, certainly those are logical avenues to pursue," said Chief Tom Longo with the Charlottesville Police Department.

Dashad is a transgender man who also went by the nickname "Sage." He was last seen near the Charlottesville Amtrak station.

"He attracted people and even with him not present, he still attracts people," says Grooms.

A crew of about a dozen police personnel will continue to concentrate on this specific area of the landfill.

"I'm trying to keep hope," she said.

That team searching in the landfill is made up of people from field operations, the forensic unit and investigators.

If you know anything that could help call Charlottesville Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.

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