Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Disappearance of Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has been missing since November 21st, 2011. The 22-year-old woman lived in Leon, Virginia at the time, and she was attending school at Longwood University. She also worked part-time cleaning houses in the area. Additionally, Lauren was well-known in the online gaming world. 

On the day she vanished, Lauren was scheduled to clean a house. Her cousin stated that he dropped her off at the house she was supposed to clean around 2:15 PM. It is unclear if Lauren actually spent any time at the house, though, as she was spotted driving into a 7-11 parking lot and entering the store around 3 PM.

While this was a full 45 minutes after her cousin claimed to have dropped her off, the owner of the house said that he came home to a dirty, unlocked house and he could tell that nobody had let his dogs out. However, the owner of the home did notice that a revolver was missing from his home. 

Lauren herself never returned home that evening and has never been seen or heard from again. Once she was reported missing, investigators pulled surveillance footage from the 7-11 where Lauren was last seen. The footage shows Lauren parking her car at the store around 3 PM. She then entered the store and visited with a friend who worked there as an employee. After visiting her friend, Lauren left the 7-11 on foot and seemingly vanished. 

Many found it suspicious that Lauren's car was left at the 7-11, however according to certain sources, Lauren was planning on buying a new car that day. She was believed to be carrying between $3000-5000 in cash on the day she vanished. Some have theorized that this is why Lauren left her car at the convenience store, but this has never been confirmed. 

There are quite a few other possible theories about what might have happened to Lauren as well. 


Speculation about the homeowner.

The owner of the home that Lauren was supposed to clean was arrested two years after her disappearance for stalking and harassing an ex-girlfriend. Additionally, he allegedly used his ex-girlfriend's name and address to post Craigslist looking for sexual encounters.

The homeowner went to prison for those charges. He has never been charged with anything related to Lauren's disappearance, and he is not considered a person of interest. In fact, investigators do not believe that Lauren actually went to the home that day. 

Speculation about the cousin.

Authorities believe that Lauren's cousin is lying about dropping her off at the house she was supposed to clean. Authorities also believe that the cousin has access to vital information that he is withholding. He reportedly left the state shortly after being interviewed by police. It is unclear if police have been able to contact him again.

It's also worth noting that the cousin is a registered sex offender. It's unclear why he would fabricate a story about dropping Lauren off on the day of his disappearance, and due to this, many have their suspicions that he may be involved in her case.

A runaway theory.

Another theory is that Lauren possibly left on her own accord. A suitcase was discovered to be missing from her home and she had apparently spoken about disappearing to a few friends shortly before she vanished. Lauren reportedly had a history of depression as well.

However, Lauren's family members do not believe she would voluntarily stay out-of-touch for this long--especially since she left her passport behind, and her cell phone has not been used since she was last seen.

Where the case stands.

Lauren remains missing today. The Madison County Sheriff's Office is investigating her case. If you have any information that could lead to her whereabouts, please contact 540-948-5161.


  1. Amanda Lemen-ParkerApril 23, 2020 at 2:01 PM

    Cousin is a registered sex offender, if they wanted to find and contact him they could. It really depresses me that one of my close friends has been missing for nearly 10 years. I have seen so little involvement from police in this case it makes me sick. We went and searched the wooded areas around her home for her because she had a history of depression. I can't say I've seen anything actually being done. I know adults can technically go missing if they want too....but it makes me sick to see how little was truly done and to think she may be there waiting to be found somewhere. There are too many things about this that cause serious concern from the status of her cousin and his history, to the history of the person that she cleaned for, to her own mental health. It seems so unlikely to me that she would have let her other cousin, VS who she was incredibly close too, worry likke this for so many years. I don't believe she ran away...I truly dont.

    If you are out there Lauren, M and V and I think of you all the time and we love and miss you so so much. I pray you are happy and safe, or at the very least, not suffering. You have not been forgotten Paff <3

    1. Thank you for your insight, i pray that you and Lauren's other loved ones receive answers <3 please let me know if there is any other helpful information that i can put out there to help spread awareness on her case.

  2. It's been over a decade now and still nothing. I just wanted to share how often I think of and appreciate her memory. We weren't all that close as we got older but I rode the bus with Lauren and sat next to her nearly every day since kindergarten for at least 6 years. After that, her appearance on the bus was scattered but every time we saw one another we were always excited and it made my day.

    I was very timid as a young person and she took me in as a sort of older sister figure. She would read to me whatever book she was currently into, tell me stories, make me laugh and giggle. There were also the rainy days that we would ride together in comfortable silence. She was such an awesome person and incredibly silly. I loved her. I did not know much about her home life. She never talked about it and I never thought to ask. It's heartbreaking knowing what she went through now...I only hope she's in a better place. If she is able to see this, I want her to know how much I love and appreciate her. I'll never forget you. Thank you so much.

    My condolences to her friends and family. She was truly a special person. <3