The Mysterious Death Of Judy Smith Explained

In April 1997, Case Remains writes that Judy Smith was a newlywed when she and her husband, Jeff, decided to attend a work conference in Philadelphia. The couple lived in Boston and en route to their departing flight, Smith realized she had left her driver's license at home (via Unsolved Mysteries). She made the decision to travel on a later flight and meet her husband in Philadelphia. While this change of plans did little to disrupt their trip, the next day would be a different story. On April 10, Smith decided to go sightseeing while Jeff went to the conference. They agreed they would meet at their hotel room by 5 p.m. By 6:30, however, Smith had not yet arrived.

According to Unsolved Mysteries Wiki, Jeff called the police and searched for his wife throughout the city. Neither could find any trace of her. True Crime Society writes that her children flew in to join the search and scoured the streets and hospitals to no avail. Left with little choice, Jeff flew back home to Boston. He hired a private investigator and had thousands of "missing" fliers mailed across the Eastern Seaboard. This proved futile as continuing efforts to find Smith failed.

Judy Smith's remains was discovered hundreds of miles away

Five months after her disappearance, a father and son hiking near Asheville, North Carolina, discovered a grisly scene (via Unsolved Mysteries). Per Case Remains, they had stumbled upon skeletal remains of a woman who medical examiners believed had been stabbed to death. An ER doctor, who had read the story about the bone's discovery and had seen one of Jeff's fliers, sent the article to Philadelphia police. Dental records later confirmed that the remains belonged to 50-year-old Judy Smith.

True Crime Society writes that a blue backpack and pair of sunglasses found near her did not belong to her. This left investigators with more questions than answers. Why was Smith hundred of miles away from where she was last seen, and most importantly, who had killed her and why? As money and her wedding ring were found with her, it was determined that robbery was not the motive for the murder.

According to Unsolved Mysteries Wiki, some believe Smith left Philadelphia voluntarily. Although she had been to North Carolina twice before, she had never been in the area she was found in. Several witnesses had seen her around Asheville and didn't sense that anything was amiss. Jeff was never a suspect in his wife's murder, and died in 2005. Police, however, do believe that the backpack and sunglasses found alongside Smith belong to her killer. As of 2022, the case remains unsolved.