ST. GEORGE, Utah (News4Utah) – Over 100 volunteers showed up to help in what is being called the last large scale search for a teen who disappeared without a trace in 2015.
Through 100+ degree weather in the dry desert, men, women and teens poured their hearts and souls into the search and showed up to offer their love and support in hopefully finding answers for the loved ones of Macin Smith.
“Not gonna lie, today was physically, emotionally and spiritually gut-wrenching,” said Jolyne Bowden Gailey, a long term supporter of the Smith family and the Help Find Facebook and Twitter pages. “I’ve done searches for Macin before and I’ve been part of this for a while now. This one felt DIFFERENT, for weeks I have felt a physical tremble inside of me leading up to THIS search.”
Gailey said they have spent months planning and held hours of admin meetings. They spent a lot of time just trying to pick the right location, which ended up being the closest to the Smith home they have ever searched.
The search was within just a couple miles of where Macin disappeared on Sept 1, 2015 and heeded no new clues to what could have happened to the missing teen who would now be 20.
“To come home empty handed: I am frustrated, heart broken, tired, sunburned, sore from head to toe to heart,” said Gailey. “I know this sounds extremely negative so far but I wanted to share a bit of honesty of what goes into these things. You do your research, you put in your time and you pray that you’re not wasting other people’s time by begging for their help. You pray you’ll be successful and safe. Most of all you pray to end this madness for those who hurt so deeply, everyday, for 3 years.”
Gailey said 110 volunteers showed up along with news teams, searchers on ATV’s’, 4-wheelers and side by sides. Even people showed up with their 4-legged furry friends who sniffed out things the best they could.
People came from across the country and one family showed up from Canada where the Smiths used to live prior to moving to Utah.
“We had friends, family and strangers alike,” said Gailey. “All united in one purpose.”
The trails searched were described by Gailey as steep, jagged, rough, rocky, high, flat, bushy, dry and extremely hot but that did not stop “Macin’s Army” from giving it all they had and walking until they just could not walk anymore.
“I did not hear a single volunteer complain,” Gailey said. “In fact, after lunch and refresh more than half opted to stay and continue past our original route.”
Gaiely said they also received donations of food, money, snacks, donuts, homemade cookies and a lot of water and Gatorade.
“On a positive note, wise words were said today,” Gailey said. “Everything happens for a reason, we planned, we prayed, we begged, we pleaded, we had faith and we hoped. We crossed off one more section with confidence that he is not in that large area of desert we were able to search behind his home.”
Gailey said she may not understand why Macin is not ready to be found yet, but she still has faith that someday he will be and when he is ready everyone will be there with open arms.