SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – After nearly six years, there is still no sighting or sign that Macin Smith is still alive.
But there’s also a remote possibility that the St. George teen decided to disappear and go off the radar.
Whatever the answer is, his mother still wants him home one way or the other.
“I think it’s very important that my son is not forgotten because he’s still out there, somewhere,” said his mother, Tracey Smith.
Macin is one of hundreds “Missing in Utah.”
In September 2015, Macin was believed to have left home for school one day. His parents never actually saw him leave, but assumed he left that morning.
Earlier that morning, at around 1 a.m., his father entered Macin’s room and found him on the internet. He took away Macin’s computer. It was the last sighting of Macin.
The teen, who rode the bus to school, never returned home that afternoon.
“We couldn’t imagine that this was the thing that wasn’t right,” recalled Smith. “(We thought) it was more like ‘oh he’s probably blowing off some steam at the park.'”
But the hours turned to days, then months and years. Publicly, he was considered a runaway.
Years of searching for him didn’t produce any evidence that he was around.
People from all over converged upon St. George to help find Macin.
“(It) just goes back to being a mother and not knowing where your son is,” said Jolyne Gailey in 2017. “I think everyone can relate to that love of a child. I just can’t imagine what Tracey is going through, and just the need to know.”
Over the years, Smith and her former husband faced highs and lows associated with searching for Macin.
There were false sightings of Macin, including a young man at a Las Vegas anime convention. Her son was a big fan of anime.
There was the issue of a composite made by a volunteer who distributed it to media outlets. It showed what an older Macin with a beard would look like. Smith had to disavow the image because she said her son couldn’t grow facial hair.
In 2017, search warrants issued by St. George police detectives claimed Macin may have been murdered and called the affidavit a “criminal homicide” investigation. The parents were targeted, but that theory went nowhere after both passed a lie detector test.
“If I didn’t have a wonderful family that I have and friends in my life who have been supportive, I don’t think I could have done it without them,” said Smith.
In that 2017 search warrant, Macin left a note behind and said he doesn’t want to live anymore.
“Please keep your eyes open whether you’re a hiker or a four-wheeler or somebody that’s just outdoors in the wilderness,” said Smith. “He’s still out there, don’t forget my boy.”