Family’s torment as missing man case becomes a murder investigation
The family of 41-year-old Rudy Smith found little relief from word that police are now treating the case of the missing Pembroke man as a murder investigation.
Mr Smith disappeared one month ago on July 9 when he was last seen in the Deepdale area of Pembroke.
In a heartfelt interview with The Royal Gazette his mother and sister, Madeline and Tanna Smith said they felt his disappearance should have been treated as a murder all along.
The fact that his friends have been around to express their concern reinforces the family’s belief that “they know what happened to Rudy, but won’t say”.
“As far as it being a murder investigation, from ‘jumpstreet’ that’s what I thought, the police met with us on Wednesday to tell us that but there’s no way that brings us any closure,” said Tanna Smith.
“It’s the not knowing where he is, I don’t understand how somebody could be thinking they can live with this stuff in their heart. We’re tormented and I know that person or people have to be tormented too,” she said.
She pleaded for anyone who knows anything to “please to the right thing”. “Not just because its my brother, today its my brother, tomorrow it could be yours or the next person.”
“My grandmother turned 85 today, and Rudy stayed right here with her; she watched us grow from children.”
When asked for their reaction to the discovery of the motorcycle Rudy was riding being found at sea, she said: “I just keep thinking of the first couple of hours when he went missing. What were his last words, did he beg, did he try to explain himself, his birthday, all of that.”
“I think about my mother and grandmother nights when they lay down their heads, I know this is tearing them both apart,” said Ms Smith.
For Mr Smith’s mother it’s been one sleepless night after another. “My heart, our hearts, won’t rest until we know, we can’t rest. How could you rest?” she asked.
“I can’t sleep at night thinking about where my son is, just please help out and if you know anything contact the police. We need some type of closure; we’re not getting that and that’s what I need,” she said.
His sister asked: “Did you not think how this would affect us as a family? Suppose it was your brother and your mother was tormented at night?”
In response to the countless rumours running rampant regarding Smith’s struggle with drug addiction and the possibility that his disappearance was linked to drugs she said: “Regardless of a person’s background and what they have done, nobody deserves to take a life they never gave, I don’t care what a person does. We have all made mistakes — all of us.
“People have no value for life today out of ignorance because people normally react before they think. The person or those people wherever they are right now I’m pretty sure that they though this was going to blow over.
“But God is going to expose this, when we don’t know anything he knows all things and if I don’t look to him I don’t know where I would be today. That’s the only thing I have to get me through this.
“I mean I have never, ever experienced this level of pain or losing anybody close like this before. It’s the pain of not knowing,” she said.
When asked how Rudy’s son was coping with all of this Ms Smith said: “Not very well, he’s lost, he wants to know have we heard anything from his father. All I wish for is for Rudy to come home or that we get some type of closure.”
Her daughter appealed to “whoever is responsible” to find a way to let them know something — anything. “Even a lot of his friends we haven’t seen them, no ‘hello, you’re in my prayers’ nothing, everybody’s breaking routine.
“People know and they could send a message, a letter, Crimestoppers, there’s ways to get news where you want it to go. I have to have closure, I can’t leave my mother, my granny and my family like this.
“I know Rudy would want us to move forward but we need closure to do that first,” she said.
Yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Antoine Daniels announced “police are in the unfamiliar position of officially classifying the case of Rudy Smith as a murder investigation”.
“Although the death of Rudy Smith has not been confirmed, or his whereabouts known, based on certain information, intelligence gathering, the length of time Mr Smith has been missing, the recovery of a motorcycle he was last seen riding being recovered from the waters off of North Shore in Pembroke parish three weeks ago and the fact this is not his normal routine to avoid contact with family/friends for long periods, this matter is being investigated as a murder,” said Mr Daniels.
Police have recovered a helmet believed to belong to Mr Smith, and one suspect, a Pembroke man in his 20s was arrested and subsequently released on police bail.
Despite “a number of witness interviews” and “searches” the Pembroke resident has yet to be found. Mr Daniels said: “It’s unusual for Rudy Smith not to contact or visit family and friends for long time-periods.”
Mr Smith was described as a brown-skinned male of slim build. He is said to be 5ft 8in with close black hair, brown eyes and a goatee.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Serious Crime Unit investigators on 295-0011 or the confidential Crime Stoppers Hotline, 1-800-8477 (Tips).
Thousands turn out for Bermuda Day parade
Spinal surgery for teenager Mihdi Brock
Butterfield wins May 24
Breaking away into a new tradition
Butterfield wins May 24
Bermuda Day float winners named
Contest makes clean sweep
Take Our Poll