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Gay Smither

Gay Smither and her daugther, Laura Smither
Gay and her daughter Laura Smither

Gay Smither is the mother of Laura Smither. Laura was abducted and murdered in Texas on April 3, 1997. Laura was an intelligent, beautiful, gentle, loving child with a passion for ballet and a great joy for life. She was 12 years old. Laura was violently taken from her life while she was jogging near her home that terrible spring morning. A massive nationwide community search for her resulted. More than 6,000 volunteers helped the Smither family search for Laura and her remains were tragically recovered after 17 days. No charge has ever been made in her case.

The Laura Recovery Center exists to prevent abductions and runaways and to recover missing children by fostering a Triangle of Trust among law enforcement, community and a missing child's family. It has an extensive abduction prevention education program and trains law enforcement in astate certified child abduction first responder course. The LRC organizes community searches and trains local volunteers to continue the search for their missing child. Gay serves as President of the Board of Directors and is one of the speakers for the Foundation. She has been on many searches for missing children, and supports families through this crisis. The LRC is a member of AMECO, which is a national association of missing and exploited children's organizations and Gay serves on their board of directors.

Gay is a member of Team HOPE and a consultant to Fox Valley Technical College, presenting around the country as an advocate for missing children. Gay was the national speaker for missing children in 2005, speaking for the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention for National Missing Children's Day in Washington DC.

Gay continues to seek justice for her daughter Laura, and works in her memory.

link arrowLaura Recovery Center