A South Jersey couple is desperate for answers after their son went missing nearly two months ago in Maryland.
David Gipson Smith, 28, left his family’s home in Pilesgrove, New Jersey, back on Aug. 5 at 8:30 a.m. Smith was leaving to visit a friend in Catonsville, Maryland and possibly move there.
“My husband Doug was in touch with him through texting twice that day, making sure he got to where he was going safely, to which David responded yes,” said David’s mother Julie Gipson Smith.
According to Julie, David’s friend in Maryland had a change of plans and wasn’t able to meet him that weekend.
“So she gave David the number of a friend of hers that David could hang out with for the weekend,” Julie said. “He had not been previously introduced to this person face-to-face, but had had one conversation with her previously. It is our understanding that David drove from Catonsville to Ellicott City to meet this woman at her home. He supposedly stayed with this woman and her family overnight on Saturday August 5th, but this created a problem because the parents didn't want him to stay.”
Doug tried to get in contact with David shortly before 8 a.m. on Aug. 6. David’s phone went dead however and his parents were unable to reach him.
Julie wrote a detailed Facebook post laying out the timeline of text and phone call exchanges she believes occurred between David and his friend in Catonsville, Maryland as well as the woman in Ellicott City, Maryland prior to his disappearance. She also said she and her husband eventually met with the woman in Ellicott City on Aug. 12 on a 22-acre property in Woodbine, Maryland.
According to Julie, the woman had dropped David off at the property on August 7 and hadn’t seen him since then. Julie also said David had left his car at the woman’s home in Ellicott City.
Julie and Doug searched the property in Woodbine on Aug. 12 but couldn’t find David. They then contacted police and the missing person investigation officially began. Police searched David’s car which had been left at the woman’s home in Ellicott City as well as the Woodbine property.
More than a month and a half later, David remains missing and no arrests have been made in connection to his disappearance.
“Every day that passes, the feeling that there has been criminal activity becomes more and more real,” Julie said.
Doug Smith serves as the head pastor of the Sharptown United Methodist Church. Now he and his family are relying on their faith for strength as they continue to search for their son.
“Our faith becomes substantial,” Doug said. “And the people around us are often the people who prop us up.”
Doug’s congregation and community helped raise a $5,000 reward for anyone with information leading to David’s whereabouts. If you have any information, please call 410-313-7867.