‘Search until we can’t walk anymore’: Over 100 volunteers prepared to search for Macin Smith nearly 3 years later

Composite photo of Macin Smith overlaid on photos of Banded Hills Drive area where a Sept. 8 search will take place | Macin Smith photo courtesy of Tracey Smith, Banded Hills Drive photos by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Macin Smith has been missing for nearly three years, but those who are concerned about his welfare – from family and friends to strangers across the U.S. –  haven’t given up on looking for him.

File photo of Macin Smith’s school portrait, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Tracey Smith, St. George News.

Joylne Gailey told St. George news that a friend of hers added her a year ago to the Help Find Macin Smith #MacinsArmy Facebook page, which has garnered over 56,500 followers. She said it changed her life. Now she’s driving to St. George to help orchestrate a desert search for Smith on Sept. 8.

“You see things on the news, and you think to yourself ‘how sad,'” Gailey told St. George News, “but I clicked on the page and looked at the story; it was enough to intrigue me, so I checked back every few days. The more I looked into it, the more I felt like I actually knew Macin. He very much reminded me of my own son, very similar in age.”

Smith was 17 years old when he was deemed missing Sept. 1, 2015, after leaving his home that morning and not returning. Since his disappearance, he’s received international attention from over 100 different countries, and his story appeared on the show “Disappeared ” on the Investigation Discovery channel in 2017. (See Ed. note)

Now the search continues for Smith with a desert search Sept. 8 in the area of 3000 East Banded Hills Drive. This is an area members of #MacinsArmy have searched before.

“We actually decided to revisit an area that has already been done,” Gailey said. “After almost three years we have better knowledge, and we are able to think more clearly as to what his thoughts could have been or how far he could have traveled.”

A desert search for missing Macin Smith will be conducted Sept. 8 in the area of 3000 Banded Hills Drive in St. George, Utah, Aug. 24, 2018 | Photo by Markee Heckenliable, St. George News

Banded Hills Drive goes through a neighborhood in St. George and winds its way up toward the general aviation area near the St. George Regional Airport.

Gailey said the search has over 100 volunteers, but the event listed on Facebook shows over 4oo people interested. The desert search is set to start at 8 a.m., with no specific time when they’ll be done.

“We hadn’t really considered it as far as miles go,” she said. “But we do intend to search until we can’t walk anymore.”

Multiple searches have been conducted for Smith, including one in Las Vegas. With each unsuccessful search, Gailey said #MacinsArmy administrators and search committee members spend the rest of the year promoting and educating as many people as they can to come forward with information on where he could be.

In regard to knowing where Smith is, Gailey said:

It is important to express that we simply do not know anything about his whereabouts. The main goal we’re trying to accomplish is finding him and confirming that he is OK. If he is deceased he needs to be brought home and given a proper burial.

For the search, volunteers need to check in at the start location by 8 a.m. Companies in St. George have offered to help with the search by providing needed items. Gailey said someone from Smith’s Marketplace donated 15 cases of water, and Domino’s offered to feed the volunteers.

“We have a large amount of people donating water, breakfast bars, snacks… we have people traveling from afar and several offering to bring ATVs, three-wheelers /four-wheelers, canopies, tables, chair, horses…. the response is amazing and emotionally overwhelming!” Gailey posted to #MacinsArmy Facebook page.

To RSVP for the search, click here.

“I truly believe that the reason we are all able to stay so hopeful is because of the loving support of the community and volunteers all over the world,” Gailey said.

Description of Macin Smith

  • Name: Macin Smith
  • Age: 20
  • Race: Caucasian
  • Height: 6 feet, 4 inches
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • Hair color: Blonde

Anyone with information about Macin is asked to call the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.

Ed. note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the name of the program that featured Macin Smith’s disappearance.

Email: mheckenliable@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @markeekaenews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • LunchboxHero August 30, 2018 at 9:26 am

    All the best to the searchers. I really hope this young man is found. (And the show he was on isn’t called “Investigation Discovery”. That’s the name of the channel. The show was “Disappeared”)

    • Paul Dail Paul Dail August 30, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Thank you for your comment. We also hope Macin is found soon and respect the tenacity of his family and friends – and as Ms. Heckenliable said in the article, even strangers.

      And thank you for the clarification on the show. That has been changed in the article.

      Paul Dail
      Editor in chief

  • Mild Winters August 30, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    This is a prime example of caring people coming together to help with an extremely important cause. The family of Macin have wondered and worried about him every day for three years…
    I would be overjoyed with a happy ending, as would so many others…
    I’m a believer that personal and group effort goes a long way with God…
    I hope He will bless the ongoing labors and prayers of alot of people with answers.

  • ladybugavenger August 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I think about Macin often. I ask out loud, where are you Macin?

  • mesaman August 30, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    So much to think about and so much to wonder. So many who care about Macin and who hope and pray that one day there will be closure for his family, friends, and the rest of us. May God’s presence be shown in your quest for answers.

  • AnnieMated August 31, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I hope they find this kid and I hope he’s alive. Macin, if you’re out there and you read this, make a phone call.

  • Kilroywashere September 3, 2018 at 12:55 am

    This is an exception to my final post. As you all know I spend a lot of time in the desert. I will be heading out this coming Friday. I do better when alone. Keep the faith.

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