The family of missing teen Macin Smith wants him to know that he is loved -- immensely.
“He needs to know how much his life matters, to his family and to his community. We want the opportunity to watch him continue to grow and love him through this,” Tracey Smith told Dateline NBC.
Macin, 17, was last seen leaving his St. George, Utah home on September 1st for another day of senior year at Desert High School. The teen and his family moved to the southern Utah town from Canada five months ago, and Tracey says her son has been a bit of a homebody since then.
“He hasn’t made a lot of close friends yet,” said Tracey. “I think it’s been hard for him with all his siblings living far away and starting a new school his senior year.”
Both of the teen’s parents work, so it was only after they returned home that evening to several messages from the school district, that they knew Macin was missing. The teen’s cellphone, laptop, wallet and other belongings were left behind. “I don’t think he had any intention of going to school that day, and we just need to find him and be sure he’s safe,” said Tracey.
St. George Police are investigating, but have classified the case as a juvenile runaway incident. However, they insist the case is being taken very seriously.
“He does have a history of depression and has struggled the last few years. I think it’s important for that to be out there,” Tracey told Dateline NBC. “He needs to know that there is a tsunami of love out there for him.”
Numerous tips have been called in, including someone reporting a man resembling Macin holding a sign on a freeway exit near his high school, asking for a ride to Las Vegas. Several relatives traveled to Nevada hunting down any viable leads they could find. They got assistance from the local organization Red Rock Search and Rescue, but nothing turned up. The family says the tip may have been a false lead.
Back in St. George, more than 200 people gathered to search the area around the Smiths’ home, most recently on Saturday morning. Although no solid information was found concerning Macin’s whereabouts, the family says they are eternally grateful to everyone who took the time to aid in the efforts.
“If I wasn’t in so much pain, I could take the time to express my gratitude,” said Tracey. “For us being so new to the area, the members of our church, our neighbors and even complete strangers, have been so kind and generous of their time and in their prayers. Thank you.”
A candlelight vigil is currently planned for Wednesday evening in St. George.
Macin Smith is described as 6’4” tall, weighing 200 lbs. with blond hair and blue eyes. If you have any information that can help bring Macin home, please contact the St. George Police Department at (435) 627-4300.
You can also visit the Facebook page ‘Help Find Macin Smith’ for more information.