Overview of Cindy Smith
Cindy Lee Smith disappeared on April 3, 1987, from Winter Haven, Florida, where she was living with her boyfriend, William Donald Taylor, and her six-year-old son from a previous marriage. Smith had told her relatives that she planned to end her relationship with Taylor and move into her parents' home with her son, but Taylor disputed this and claimed their relationship was good.
Smith's mother, Elsie Sparrow, reported her missing on April 6 after Smith's boss called to inquire why she had not come to work. Sparrow criticized the investigation into her daughter's disappearance, stating that the sheriff's office did not contact her until three weeks after she filed the missing persons report.
A month after Smith disappeared, her parents learned that Taylor was selling her belongings. Smith's father, Carrol Sparrow, went to Taylor's home with another male relative and found Smith's bloodstained mattress inside the house. Carrol handed the mattress to the police, who tested it for blood type, as more advanced forensic testing did not exist at the time. Unfortunately, the mattress was thrown away in the 1990s, and no samples were preserved.
Authorities found that Taylor's account of Smith's disappearance differed from other witnesses' statements and considered him a person of interest in the case. Taylor claimed that Smith had left with an unknown man, saying she was going to Daytona Beach, Florida, and he never saw her after that. However, Smith's boss claimed to have seen her getting into Taylor's car after work on the day she vanished.
Taylor died of natural causes in November 2007, and no charges were ever filed against him in connection with Smith's case. Smith's loved ones do not believe she would have left without warning, especially abandoning her son and pets. Her car was left behind, and she never picked up her tax refund check. She was employed at a K-Mart store on Havendale Boulevard in Winter Haven when she disappeared.
Interestingly, Smith's nephew, Timothy Davison, disappeared in 1985 from Decatur, Illinois, at the age of four, and has never been found. Despite the family's fears, authorities do not believe the two cases are related.
Authorities believe that foul play may have been involved in Smith's disappearance, which remains unsolved. Her son was raised by his father after her disappearance, and her parents continue to hope for a resolution in her case.