North American Missing Persons Network
Vanessa Dawn Smith

1 2 AP
Above Images: Left and Center: Smith, circa 1997;
Right: Age-progression at age 29

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: May 31, 1997 from Winton, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: December 26, 1981
  • Age: 15
  • Height: 5'6"
  • Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Hair Color: Blonde
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Female
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Smith has a birthmark
    on her right arm which extends from her shoulder to her elbow.
  • Clothing: Light blue dress with silver buttons, white
    sandals and a black head cover.
  • Case Number: 9715625; NCMC833448
  • NCIC Number:M-033264093

  • Details of Disappearance
    Smith was last seen leaving her family's residence on Winton Way in Winton, California at approximately 7:00 p.m. on May 31, 1997. She was planning to take her usual walk through the neighborhood at the time. She was carrying her walking stick. Smith has never been heard from again.

    Smith's walking stick was discovered along the side of Mercedes Avenue in Winton shortly after she failed to return home that evening. The location was along Smith's normal route and was approximately 200 yards east of her residence on Winton Way. There was no sign of her at the scene.
    Smith left her purse at her residence, which contained her savings, and also left a cherished watch at her home.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Merced County Sheriff's Department
    (209) 385-7444
    (209) 385-7551

    Source Information
    California Department of Justice
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    America's Most Wanted
    Merced County Sheriff's Department
    Vanessa D. Smith Has Vanished
    Child Protection Education of America, Inc.