Pride Month: Dashad “Sage” Smith

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Dashad Laquinn Smith, who not long before her disappearance had started using a new name, Sage. Sage was last seen in Charlottesville, Virginia on November 20, 2012, just weeks before her twentieth birthday.

It took me awhile to figure out Sage’s identity. The original articles about her said she sometimes dressed as a woman but specifically said she wasn’t trans. However, this feature article explains that Sage, who had previously identified as a gay man, had started identifying as a transgender woman. So here we are.

Sage’s life wasn’t easy.  It isn’t easy for most trans people, particularly trans women of color. She spent time in foster care in childhood after her mom was deemed unfit. Her apartment was paid for by the state because of the foster care thing, but she was working minimum wage jobs and barely getting by. She was studying cosmetology and dreamed of better things.

Not that much is known about Sage’s disappearance, because the person of interest in her case, Erik McFadden, the last person known to have seen her, went on a runner and hasn’t popped back up yet in five and a half years. Hmm…

It doesn’t look good. McFadden isn’t the only person of interest — some of Sage’s other acquaintances seem sketchy — but you have to wonder what is compelling him to stay out of sight for this long. And meanwhile, Sage has a loving family who misses her very much.

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6 thoughts on “Pride Month: Dashad “Sage” Smith

  1. Manny June 10, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    This was featured on the ID channel’s series “Disappeared” not that long ago. What I found disheartening is the fact that at the same time Sage was gone and in the same area the community mobilized to search for Heather Graham who had mysteriously disappeared around the same time, with tremendous media coverage ( a notorious and well publicized case, that lead to the apprehension of her killer) yet very few cared about Sage’s case, very sad and not fair at all. if you happen to watch that episode you’d be mesmerized by Sage’s grandmother: Cookie! A remarkable older lady who I would vote as People’s person of the year at anytime!

    • Diamond Lil June 10, 2018 / 11:46 pm

      You mean *Hannah* Graham.
      I thought the arrest of her killer had more to do with DNA as well as surveillance footage. The fact he was also responsible for Morgan Harrington’s murder five years prior as well as a previous rape.

  2. Patrick Kerrigan June 11, 2018 / 11:01 pm

    I like that Erik, that was a person of interest then not a person of interest, then he was a person of interest. Then they say he was 21, or maybe 22 or maybe he might be 25, when Sage disappeared.

    Then he flees and gives one story to police and then another to his girlfriend. He sends email from an untraceable address. I wonder what he is he hiding from. I wonder if he is involved in any other disappearances.

    Sage family should file a wrongful death lawsuit against him and his family. It might flush him out to and force him to tell the truth. If he is innocent then he has nothing to hide.

    I like that her roomates use her public aid card, for their own needs. This is supposedly her friends. I wonder if they were also involved in someway in her disappearance.

    • Meaghan June 12, 2018 / 1:01 am

      Erik has no reason to respond to a wrongful death suit. If I were him, I would just not show up to defend myself. This means a default judgment against him, but it also means he will not have to say anything under penalty of perjury, and to collect on whatever judgment they got, Sage’s family would need to FIND him first.

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